UBC Theses and Dissertations
Nuancing the 2:3 ratio : microtiming analyses of dance music from the transnational Macedonian region Bernacki, Nathan Sparhawk
Balkan meters are traditionally perceived in the ethnomusicological literature through a 2:3 ratio underlain by a series of isochronous subdivisions. Through beat inter-onset-interval (IOI) analysis I show how this conception obscures and neglects timing nuances, using examples of dance music from the transnational Macedonian region. Chapter 1 analyzes two songs from the Pirin-Macedonia region of Bulgaria featuring a 3-beat “long-short-short” meter. IOI analysis demonstrates that the beat proportions of these songs do not align with that governed by a 2:3 beat ratio underlain by a series of isochronous subdivisions. Chapter 2 analyzes the song “Daoulari Tsalar” of the Zurla/Tapan tradition in Greek-Macedonia. This tradition features a characteristic metric progression from a slow and loose treatment to a fast and strict treatment of a beat cycle. This analysis articulates how sections featuring slow and loose cycling, when beats are coordinated by the steps of the lead dancer, are non-isochronous, yet do not conform to any isochronous subdivision layer nor a 2:3 beat ratio. In addition to quantitative timing discussions, this thesis also addresses emic musical conceptions and the political contextualization of such dance musics, demonstrating how analysis and ethnography can act as mutually informative methodologies.
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