Danuta Mirka: "Harmonic Schemata and Hypermeter"

3:30 pm on Thursday, October 31, 2019
One of the main differences between meter and hypermeter concerns preference factors of metric perception. According to Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, perception of meter proper is conditioned by phenomenal accents but meter above the bar level is increasingly supplanted by grouping which, at higher levels, is equivalent to phrase structure. The eminent role of phrase structure and harmony in perception of hypermeter was acknowledged by William Rothstein, who dubbed these factors, respectively, the “rule of congruence” and the “rule of harmonic rhythm.” The “rule of texture” was added by Eric McKee and the “rule of parallelism” reformulated by David Temperley so as to account for the effect of the first segment in a chain of repetitions. I will posit another preference factor for hypermeter: hypermetrical profiles of harmonic schemata. By contrast to other preference factors, which work “bottom-up” and cue single events as strong, this factor allows for “top-down” processing of hypermeter by mapping the hypermetrical profile of a given schema upon a span of time including several events which can be either strong or weak. I will concentrate on the cadential schema and illustrate its effect on hypermeter with examples from Haydn’s and Mozart's string quartets. This event is free and open to the public.

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