Carnegie Mellon University
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Koch's Metrical Theory and Mozart's Music: A Corpus Study

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-03-22, 20:04 authored by John Paul ItoJohn Paul Ito
Mirka (2009) has recently argued that the 18th-century metrical theories of Heinrich Christoph Koch can be revelatory for a reconstruction of contemporary ways of hearing Viennese high classicism. Koch’s claims revolve around interactions between the metrical placement of cadences and the articulation of specific beat levels, and these claims are most specific and testable for common time and 6/8. This paper reports two statistical surveys of works by Mozart that were designed to gauge the fit between the corpus and Koch’s theory. In the works examined, the theory was strongly supported for common time, strongly disconfirmed for 6/8, and weakly supported for the other meters encountered. It is argued that these results point toward caution regarding the use of Koch’s theories but not toward their outright rejection, and that unexpected statistical contrasts within the corpus indicate the need for a fine-grained approach to meter in music of the later 18th century.


Publisher Statement

Published as Ito, J. P. (2012). Koch’s Metrical Theory and Mozart’s Music: A Corpus Study. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 31(3), 205-222.. © 2012 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by [the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center.



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