A Metric Portrait of a Fugue: The Fugal Development in Beethoven’s Sonata in A Major, Opus 101 Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Reef, John Stephen
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Music
  • Hypermeter plays a remarkable role in the fugal development in the last movement of Beethoven's Sonata in A major, Opus 101. Although previous analyses rarely consider the presence of hypermeter in fugal textures, my research indicates that hypermeter is a critical component of this music's goal-directed nature. Using methodologies deriving from the work of Lerdahl and Jackendoff, Rothstein, and Schachter, I trace processes of hypermetric expansion throughout the fugue, and demonstrate how expanded hypermetric structures contrast dynamically with more prototypical structures. Additionally, I investigate localized metric conflicts in which two metric interpretations are simultaneously possible, using the groundwork laid out by Krebs, Schachter, and Samarotto. These instances further contribute to the teleological progression of the development toward its retransition. Throughout my analysis, I encompass my findings within the narrative metaphor of a metric "plot," lending greater weight to the role of meter as a developmental phenomenon.
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  • Neal, Jocelyn
  • Open access

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