Refinement of a theory of musical rhythm


My dissertation investigated musical periodicities as the first step in the refinement of a theory of musical rhythm designed to reflect current research in the realms of perception and cognition. (See abstract, soon to be posted below.) The reason for choosing periodicities as a starting point was that the presence or absence of regularity is one of the most fundamental features of musical rhythm, and that in addition much irregularity may be perceived as a modified regularity.  The dissertation tests the idea that the specific rate at which a musical event recurs is inextricably linked with its musical function; melodic movement tends to occur within a certain band, ornamentation within another, etc.  A summary of the findings about the significance of rate can be found in the paper Superpulse: Clarifications, Refinements, Implications.


Copies of the dissertation complete with musical examples in notation form exist at the National Library of Canada and the University of Victoria library.  Copies are also available for purchase from UMI (ref. NN90193), however, due to copyright issues, the musical examples are omitted, though full references are given, and all examples are taken from three readily-available scores.   Those in Canada may access a digitized copy here:   Mountain-PhD



Parts of the thesis (with examples) are reproduced in the very roughly-edited [ie. torn from thesis by editor!] ex tempore article "Time and Texture".