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. 5b Section 5c Sect. 5d >>
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[5] Pulse-stream Analysis (continued)

[5.10] As part of the transition to the third block (m. 30), the variations in the right-hand groups in mm. 28-30 also create other pulse streams. The verbal annotations on Figure 2 indicate the nature of the changes, which withhold accents of registral density from certain times we would expect them, and add an unaccented E4 at the downbeat of m. 30. Stream 6 arises from the reiteration of registral-density accents in the right hand every quarter note, but disappears at the onset of new material. Stream 7, in hemiola with pulse 6, arises from registral-density and contour accents in the right hand, and is continued by the first durational accent in the new material in the left hand at the downbeat of m. 31.

[5.11] While these two pulse streams are clear continuities in their own right, they render the rhythmic texture considerably more "dissonant," an effect that is resolved as the accents necessary to sustain them are withheld in mm. 31-32, and as an ensemble of pulse streams recalling those in the first block is reestablished: the quarter-note stream 1, by accents of registral density in both hands; whole-note stream 3 (which has remained constant throughout), by durational accents in the left hand; and another whole-note stream, labeled 8 in the score, arising from the regularly spaced greatest accents in the right hand.

[5.12] In the following audio example (V.3a) all the pulse streams are represented by the "drums and pipes." Their complex combination can best be studied by listening to each percussion instrument as it enters and exits.

(Example V.3a) [click here for suggestions if the movie does not appear or play correctly]

<< Sect. 5b Section 5c Sect. 5d >>
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