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The rhythms of tonal music /

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A comprehensive study of the many facets of rhythm in tonal music. Lester covers accent, meter and hyper­meter, phrase rhythm, rhythm and linear analysis, continuity, rhythm and form, rhythm and polyphony, rhythm and per­formance, rhythms of textural com­ponents, grouping, and rhythm and style. The primary focus of this book is ac­cent, which Lester argues is one of the major aspects of rhythm. The central question is not whether a note or event (rest, point in time) is accented, but how it is accented. This change of focus al­lows for the first time a thorough inves­tigation into the factors that give rise to accent, the relative importance of these factors in creating accentuation, the way accents are perceived, the way meter arises, and the limits of metric organiza­tion on higher levels of structure. Lester’s synthesis of other theorists on tonal rhythm is thorough but, more important, his own ideas on the subject are original and enlightening.

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