Metric Flux in Beethoven's Fifth

Justin London

in Hearing in Time

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195160819
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786763 | DOI:
Metric Flux in Beethoven's Fifth

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The fluctuations in metric organization in the first movement of Beethoven's Symphony No, 5 in C-minor are described and discussed. While the basic duple meter never changes, the depth of subdivision and the presence of levels above the tactus (so-called hypermeter) changes radically over the course of the movement. The thickest meters occur at structurally stable passages in the piece, while the thinnest meters coincide with points of high drama and tension.

Keywords: metric consonance; hypermeter; metric depth; Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C-minor; Op. 67

Chapter.  3455 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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