Metric Dissonance in Non-Isochronous Meters Page: 63
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Increase in Dissonance in Measures 46-57
The sense of meter begins to weaken considerably in mm. 46-57, as this section involves
dissonant interactions between the hands. Here, Ligeti creates dissonance both with smaller 2 vs.
3 groupings and larger metrical groupings. Example 5.3 illustrates these conflicting groupings,
where the larger groupings are bracketed, and the internal groupings are shown between the
staves in the style of Krebs. The left hand consistently performs the 2+3+2+2/8 groove while the
right-hand traverses two different larger groupings, which I categorize as those of 18-eighths and
those of 12-, 14-, 11-, and 10-eighths. Considering the right hand alone, I claim Ligeti begins an
18-eighth group at the sixth eighth note of m. 46, and it contains a 2+2+2+2+3+2+3+2 pattern of
smaller groups. I view the boundary and new beginning at the sixth eighth note of m. 47 because
of the large registral shift and the contour and rhythmic parallelism with the first 18 group. The
second 18-group is slightly different, as the last two smaller groups are flipped from 3+2 to 2+3.
The third statement is initially uninterpreted because of the long note (indicated with an "A" for
"attack"), but it ends with a 3-group. The second larger grouping type begins at the sixth eighth-
note of m. 52 and traverses a 2+3+2+2+3 pattern of smaller groups. This 12-group is repeated,
but expanded. The next group begins at the ninth eighth-note of m. 53 and begins rhythmically
identical to the prior 12-group as 2+3+2+2. However, the grouping is elongated with an
additional 2 before the final 3. Conversely, the ensuing 11-group seems to begin 2+3, but Ligeti
composes an eighth-note on the downbeat of m. 56, creating a contracted pattern of 2+2+2+2+3
instead of 2+3+2+2+3. The final 10-group mirrors that of the initial 12 group minus one 2
pattern, resulting in 2+3+2+3 instead of 2+3+2+2+3. Thus, this segment consists of two different
larger right-hand groupings-the 18-note groups and the 12-, 14-, 11-, and 10-groups.
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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/m1/74/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .