"Histories of Rhythmic Theories, 1600-present"

Conveners: Rick Cohn, Roger Grant, and Carmel Raz

November 19-20, 2019

The past several decades have witnessed an efflorescence of research on the temporal aspects of musical experience. Rhythm and meter, once regarded as merely secondary parameters in comparison to pitch and harmony, are now central to the analysis and theory of music.  Bringing empirical approaches together with historicist and analytical work, the inaugural meeting of the "Histories of Modern Rhythmic Theory" working group cultivates new critical and comparative perspectives on historical rhythmic and metric theory.     



David E. Cohen (Senior Research Scientist, “Histories of Music, Mind and Body,” MPIEA)

Rick Cohn (Battell Professor of Music Theory, Yale University)

Michael Graf Münster (Künstlerischer Leiter, Kantorei St. Katharinen, Frankfurt)

Roger Mathew Grant (Associate Professor, Wesleyan University)

Martin Küster (Independent scholar, Berlin)

Justin London (Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music, Cognitive Science, and the Humanities, Carleton College)

Marc Perlman (Associate Professor, Brown University)

Carmel Raz (Research Group Leader, “Histories of Music, Mind and Body,” MPIEA)

Bill Rothstein (Professor, The City University of New York Graduate Center)

Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (Director, Music Department, MPIEA)




Monday, November 19

13:30-14:00:    Tour of the Artlab

14:15-15:00:    Talk, David Cohen, “Some Points Regarding the History of 'Accent'”

15:00-15:45:    Talk, Melanie Wald-Furhmann and Michael Graf Münster, “Rhythmus als Verlaufsgestalt”

15:45-16:15:    Coffee Break

16:15-19:00:    Seminar, “Simple, Compounded, and Tripled Measures in the 18th Century,” led by Roger Grant



Tuesday, November 20

9:45-10:00       Coffee

10:00-11:30     Workshop Rick Cohn’s draft, “Damaged Cargo: Concerning The Unfortunate Voyage of Poetic Meter to the Land of the Modern Music-Theory Textbook”

11:30-12:30     Workshop Bill Rothstein’s draft, “Bonifazio Asioli and the ritmo armonico

12:30-13:30     Lunch at the institute

13:30-14:15     Talk, Martin Küster, “Undressing Eighteenth-Century Meter”

14:15-15:00     Talk, Justin London, “The Movement Dynamics of Tactus”

15:00-15:30     Coffee Break

15:30-16:15     Talk, Marc Perlman, “Do Javanese Metric Cycles Start or End at the Downbeat? Reflections on the Development of Gamelan Notation Systems”