Metric Dissonance in Non-Isochronous Meters Page: 76
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The Destruction of Meter
The section in mm. 157-178 (Example 5.15) features persistent dissonance until meter is
completely abandoned at the coda. 8-groups (2+2+2+2) in the right hand permeate the beginning
of the section except for a grouping of 9 in mm. 161-162, as the addition of an eighth-rest at the
end of the group expands the 8-group. Beginning in m. 171, the meter is truncated while
retaining the 2-eighth-note beats. Measures 171-172 feature 6-groups, followed by two 4-groups,
followed by 2-groups. The progression from 8-groups to 2-groups is effectively a transformation
from meter to beat. Those 2-groups in the right hand do not lend themselves to metrical,
hierarchical interpretations, as the line beginning in m. 173 simply features ascending quarter
notes. Thus, meter is abandoned in the right hand in m. 173. Meter ends later in the left hand,
when the groove ends at m. 176.
There is more to the picture than simply an abandonment of meter. As with the section
from mm. 97-115, this section features omnipresent dissonance. But unlike in the previous
section, this omnipresent dissonance leads to the destruction of meter, one hand at a time. This
dissonance is again characterized by an interaction of metric-level and beat-level conflict. For
example, the beginning of m. 164 is consonant at the beat level (Example 5.16) but dissonant at
the metric level (Example 5.17). Measures 174-178 are only shown with CBAP visuals because
of the lack of meter in the right hand, and m. 174 is relatively consonant. This is the moment,
however, after the driving eighth-notes cease and meter is abandoned in the right hand, so the
effect is still of disturbance. The table in Example 5.18 shows the relative consonance and
dissonance at both levels.
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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/m1/87/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .