Journal Article

Form as Process: The Buildup Introduction in Popular Music

Robin Attas

in Music Theory Spectrum

Published on behalf of Society for Music Theory

Volume 37, issue 2, pages 275-296
Published in print December 2015 | ISSN: 0195-6167
Published online October 2015 | e-ISSN: 1533-8339 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mts/mtv020
Form as Process: The Buildup Introduction in Popular Music

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In buildup introductions, the groove is elaborated through the addition of new riffs, the intensification of numerous musical elements, and the creation of expectations for the arrival of the main body of the song. This article considers the buildup introduction as an in-time musical process, using an analytical method that adapts Christopher Hasty's metric theory. In a range of musical examples, typical metric features of the buildup introduction are discussed, including metric polyphony, anacrusis development and cueing, projection shift, and the use of underdetermined meter and metric ambiguity. The result is a music theory that privileges a particular mode of hearing reflecting listener and performer experience.

Keywords: rhythm; meter; process; groove; buildup; anacrusis; form; introduction; popular music; Hasty

Journal Article.  11995 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History

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