Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era

by Roger Mathew Grant

Series: Oxford Studies in Music Theory

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780199367283
  • 9780199367290
Beating Time & Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era chronicles the shifting relationships between ideas about time in music and science from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. Centered on theories of musical meter, the book investigates the interdependence between theories of meter and conceptualizations of time from the age of Zarlino to the invention of the metronome. These formulations have evolved throughout the history of Western music, reflecting fundamental reevaluations not only of music but also of time itself. Drawing on paradigms from the history of science and technology and the history of philosophy, author Roger Mathew Grant illustrates ways in which theories of meter and time, informed by one another, have manifested themselves in the field of music.During the long eighteenth century, treatises on subjects such as aesthetics, music theory, mathematics, and natural philosophy began to reflect an understanding of time as an absolute quantity, independent of events. This gradual but conclusive change had a profound impact on the network of ideas connecting time, meter, character, and tempo. Investigating the impacts of this change, Grant explores the timekeeping techniques - musical and otherwise - that implemented this conceptual shift, both technologically and materially.Bringing together diverse strands of thought in a broader intellectual history of temporality, Grant's study fills an unexpected yet conspicuous gap in the history of music theory, and is essential reading for music theorists and composers as well as historical musicologists and practitioners of historically informed performance.
  • Oxford University Press; October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780199367290
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era
  • Series: Oxford Studies in Music Theory
  • Author: Roger Mathew Grant
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780199367283
  • 9780199367290

In The Press

"With this book, Grant (Wesleyan Univ.) sets groundwork for resolving the longstanding division in music theory between "music perception" and the "history of theory," and he does so in ways music scholars at all levels should note. Essential." --Choice
"As a book that chronicles the development of meter theory, Beating Time is extremely well researched...Amid the growing multitude of rhythmic theories in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Grant's retrospective provides much-needed historical context. Through his thoughtful and thorough exploration of older treatises, theories, practices, and technologies, he puts us in a position to better understand our own inclinations in regards to musical meter, and provides an informed vantage point from which to critique many concepts we take for granted. He shows us not only how these theories developed, but also how musical meter itself changed in the early modern era, and for that, this book is a valuable addition to any musician's library."--Music Research Forum
"Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era" will appeal primarily to theorists, historians, and scholars of the history of ideas, though its insights are relevant to all lovers of European music from this era. Important performance implications arise sporadically throughout the book, but Grant never directly asks us to change performance practice, and only on occasion does he ask us to change our analyses of specific musical structures; instead, his main concern is that we recontextualize the music and music theory of this period as microcosms of broader intellectual currents and cultures. By doing so, Grant offers his audience a much more integrated understanding of music and the broader social world, as well as a more specific understanding of the constraints upon music's temporal features in this era and what these constraints make possible. Interested readers will find ample reward." -- Music Theory Spectrum
"In Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era, Grant successfully integrates a constellation of philosophical, cultural, and aesthetic issues. He shows a remarkable command of period musical discourse in Latin, Italian, French, and German; the historical inferences he draws are compelling and carefully argued; and his breadth of study is remarkable...Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era will appeal primarily to theorists, historians, and scholars of the history of ideas, though its insights are relevant to all lovers of European music from this era."--Music Theory Spectrum

About The Author

Roger Mathew Grant is Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (PhD 2010) his research focuses on the relationships between eighteenth-century music theory, Enlightenment aesthetics, and early modern science. His journal articles have appeared in Music Theory Spectrum, Eighteenth-Century Music, and the Journal of Music Theory. A former Junior Fellow of the University of Michigan's Society of Fellows, he was the fourth musicologist ever to hold a fellowship in the forty-year history of the Society.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780199367283
  • 9780199367290