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Unfoldings: Essays in Schenkerian Theory and Analysis

Unfoldings: Essays in Schenkerian Theory and Analysis Lerdahl and Jackendoff employ a separate metric grid that allow them to describe the complex ways in which grouping and meter sometimes align and sometimes do not. Schachter’s work goes one step further by introducing a new distinction between tonal and durational rhythm. He claims that understanding the rhythm of a piece means understanding how tonal and durational rhythm “combine into a single continuum, sometimes supporting, sometimes diverging from, sometimes even contradicting one another” (p. 37). Schachter is, in fact, quite explicit about what he means by tonal rhythm: he believes that “the tonal system itself has rhythmic properties” (p. 36). These arise because some members of the tonal system are more stable than others: “The contrast between the stable referential tones and the transitional ones produces an impression of patterned movement, in other words an impression of rhythm” (p. 37). Schachter offers a couple of simple examples. First, he suggests that when a major scale is played against the tonic triad, the members of the triad sound stable, whereas the other notes sound unstable (pp. 37–38; ex. 1.12). Second, he observes that, within an Ursatz, the tonic Stufen at the beginning and end sound stable, while the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Unfoldings: Essays in Schenkerian Theory and Analysis

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-45-2-457
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Lerdahl and Jackendoff employ a separate metric grid that allow them to describe the complex ways in which grouping and meter sometimes align and sometimes do not. Schachter’s work goes one step further by introducing a new distinction between tonal and durational rhythm. He claims that understanding the rhythm of a piece means understanding how tonal and durational rhythm “combine into a single continuum, sometimes supporting, sometimes diverging from, sometimes even contradicting one another” (p. 37). Schachter is, in fact, quite explicit about what he means by tonal rhythm: he believes that “the tonal system itself has rhythmic properties” (p. 36). These arise because some members of the tonal system are more stable than others: “The contrast between the stable referential tones and the transitional ones produces an impression of patterned movement, in other words an impression of rhythm” (p. 37). Schachter offers a couple of simple examples. First, he suggests that when a major scale is played against the tonic triad, the members of the triad sound stable, whereas the other notes sound unstable (pp. 37–38; ex. 1.12). Second, he observes that, within an Ursatz, the tonic Stufen at the beginning and end sound stable, while the

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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