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METRIC MUTATION AND MODULATION: THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY SPECULATIONS OF F.-J. FETIS

METRIC MUTATION AND MODULATION: THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY SPECULATIONS OF F.-J. FETIS François-Joseph Fétis (1784–1871) wrote these words in an article that appeared in 1834 in the Revue musicale.1 Two years earlier, Fétis had speculated that someday, someone would do for rhythm what had been done for harmony and melody: find the essential transitional element that would admit rhythmic modulations into music (Fétis 1832, 198, col. 1). Fétis’s concern with rhythm was not unique in the theoretical literature of the time. In 1837 Berlioz asserted that, of the elements of music, rhythm was the least developed (Berlioz 1837, 407, col. 2). He lamented that rhythm was “an element . . . with which composers concern themselves no more than do performers . . . ; its resources have been deemed rather limited and its forms felt not capable of much variation, lest one fall into barbarism and chaos” (Berlioz [1837] 1969, 2:336).2 In 1852, after having, by his own account, thought about rhythm for more than twenty years, Fétis addressed the issue of rhythm in a series of nine articles.3 These articles, “Du développement futur de la musique: 261 Dans le domaine de rhythme,” were a résumé of his projected treatise concerning rhythm, Traité du rhythme et de la mélodie http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

METRIC MUTATION AND MODULATION: THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY SPECULATIONS OF F.-J. FETIS

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 44 (2) – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-44-2-261
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

François-Joseph Fétis (1784–1871) wrote these words in an article that appeared in 1834 in the Revue musicale.1 Two years earlier, Fétis had speculated that someday, someone would do for rhythm what had been done for harmony and melody: find the essential transitional element that would admit rhythmic modulations into music (Fétis 1832, 198, col. 1). Fétis’s concern with rhythm was not unique in the theoretical literature of the time. In 1837 Berlioz asserted that, of the elements of music, rhythm was the least developed (Berlioz 1837, 407, col. 2). He lamented that rhythm was “an element . . . with which composers concern themselves no more than do performers . . . ; its resources have been deemed rather limited and its forms felt not capable of much variation, lest one fall into barbarism and chaos” (Berlioz [1837] 1969, 2:336).2 In 1852, after having, by his own account, thought about rhythm for more than twenty years, Fétis addressed the issue of rhythm in a series of nine articles.3 These articles, “Du développement futur de la musique: 261 Dans le domaine de rhythme,” were a résumé of his projected treatise concerning rhythm, Traité du rhythme et de la mélodie

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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