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. 6a Section 6b Sect. 6c >>
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[6] Analysis of mm. 30-43 (continued)

[6.5] Reconsidering mm. 35-36, we see that the changes to the material in both hands that disrupt the third leg of the sequence also initiate a new pulse stream that maintains rhythmic continuity into the next contrasting block. This stream, labeled 10 at the bottom of Figure 3, features the duration of a dotted-quarter. In the following audio example (VI.2a) of mm. 34-42, stream 10 is doubled by a drum, and the other streams are presented as above.

(Example VI.2a) [click here for suggestions if the movie does not appear or play correctly]

[6.6] Although there are silences at two points where one would expect this stream to be sustained--on the last beats of mm. 37 and 40--the stream is nevertheless clear. In this analysis, the sfozando left-hand dyads in mm. 38-40, which on paper appear quite disruptive, strengthen this stream as an agent of continuity and, as part of the stream, are prepared by the accents in mm. 35-37 that initiate the stream. Moreover the quarter-note pulse stream that is audible in m. 30 (but which is not explicitly shown in the analysis) is analyzed as the resultant rhythm of several slower streams that are not synchronized among themselves, but that include the most accented timepoints in the music. So this analysis clarifies the function of this otherwise odd three-measure eruption as an important rhythmic transition between the longer sequential blocks preceding and following it.

<< Sect. 6a Section 6b Sect. 6c >>
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