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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reinventing the time of the past : rhythmic voicing and metrical allusion in the music of George Benjamin and Thomas Adès Goldberg, Daniel Lawrence


This study proposes a method for analyzing rhythm in relation to conventional meter. The concept of rhythmic voicing informs a basic analytical strategy that is flexible enough to represent different forms of rhythmic organization and to accommodate various theoretical perspectives. The theoretical perspective developed here employs cognitive schemata to construct a model of how listeners interpret rhythmic patterns in terms of conventional meter, even when the rhythms do not fully conform to the characteristics of this meter. Rhythms that invoke but deviate from meter are understood as metrical allusions according to the categories of simple allusion, disjunction, and distortion. Metaphorically applied image schemata further interpret the changes in metrical allusions during a piece, contributing to the comprehension of form and meaning. The method is applied in analyses of works by two contemporary British composers: Sudden Time and Three Inventions for Chamber Orchestra by George Benjamin, and Asyla and Piano Quintet by Thomas Adès.

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