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.