John Roeder, "Pulse Streams and Problems of Grouping and Metrical Dissonance in Bartók's 'With Drums and Pipes,'" Music Theory Online 7.1 (2001) << Sect. 2b Section 2c Sect. 2d >>
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[2] Analysis of Grouping and "Metrical Dissonance" (continued)

[2.7] Second Block (Example II.3) [click here for suggestions if the movie does not appear or play correctly]

The materials of mm. 26-29 do not obviously substantiate the notated meter, but they do group within each stream in a straightforward way. The left hand reiterates a semitone cluster every three eighth notes, in alternating registers. The right hand reiterates (although never exactly) a 5-eighth note group that is subdivided by changes of textural density and contour into 3+2. The concurrence of these groupings is an example of what Krebs (1997) calls a "grouping dissonance," in which the eighth-note pulse is grouped into two "interpretive levels of different cardinality," 3 and 5. The levels begin an eighth-note apart, not at the same time, so they exhibit "displacement dissonance" as well. Since there are five statements of the 3-eighth duration, and three statements of the 5-eighth group, the hands return to their original orientation just before the end of m. 29. However the sense of completion is thwarted by the omission of a left-hand attack there, and by changes to the pitches and to the locations of clusters in the right hand. These changes suggest that the effect of metrical dissonance is not the sole purpose of the passage.

<< Sect. 2b Section 2c Sect. 2d >>
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