Metric Dissonance in Non-Isochronous Meters Page: 57
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from a metric one. Whereas the tonal war is characterized by the interactions of two tonal strata,
D-flat and C, the metric war is characterized by the battles between 5/4 and 5/2. Example 4.18
summarizes the harmonic and metric tensions that contribute to this metaphor.
Example 4.18. Summary of metric and harmonic tension
Section Measures Harmonic Tension Metric Tension
1st Theme Group 140 Bitonal Dominant Increasing dissonance to
the 2nd Theme Group
Tonal Repose/Surface- Stagnant metric
2nd Theme Group 4058 Level Dissonance dissonance leading to
metric alternation before
Sequence to Metric diminution
Transition 5 8-62 sudmnt
Closing Theme Subdominant to Fully-dissonant canon
Harmonic pivot to Rhythmic fragments from
dominant ostinato, calm expectation
Stable, remains on Thwarting expectations at
Recapitulation 110-172 dominant onset, increased
dissonance at closing
Stability achieved on C Meter abandoned
Coda 172-end ai
Metric disturbance increases the drive to most structural points of arrival in "Mars." At
the end of the first theme group, the increasing intensity of the metric dissonance strengthens the
drive to the second theme group. The transition gains intensity through the alternation of 5/4 and
5/2 meters and through metric diminution the motion towards the beginning of the development.
The motion toward the development is intensified by the fully dissonant metric canon that takes
place. The harmonic pivot to the dominant of the D-flat axis in the development is supplemented
by relative metric calm before the recapitulation: Holst keeps the development in a consistent 5/2
meter, supplemented by increasing rhythmic fragments of the ostinato before abandoning them
just before the explosive recapitulation. Holst avoids the monotony of the expected tonal stability
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Smith, Jayson. Metric Dissonance in Non-Isochronous Meters, dissertation, August 2018; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1248499/m1/68/: accessed April 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .