Rhythmic Processes in Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire

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Analysts have given renewed attention to rhythm in Schoenberg's atonal music; simultaneously, scholars of rhythm and metre have given increasing consideration to listeners’ changing perceptions of metrical structure in real time, as well as the cognition of metrical ambiguity. The present article joins these two threads of research, applying analytical techniques developed by Christopher Hasty (1997) to Pierrot lunaire. Hasty's approach suits Pierrot because it allows for evanescence and vagueness in the perception of rhythmic and metric qualities. The article describes several types of processes of rhythmic change in Pierrot: contraction and expansion of projective functions, hypermetrical formation and dispersion and metrical promotion and demotion. The resulting analytical model and typology can serve as a point of departure for analysing works in various corpora in addition to those of the Second Viennese School.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-39
Number of pages37
JournalMuseum International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Museology


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