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Widdess, Richard (2019) 'Time Changes: Heterometric Music in South Asia.' In: Wolf, Richard, Blum, Stephen and Hasty, Christopher, (eds.), Thought and Play in Musical Rhythm. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 273-313.

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The chapter examines a distinction between isometric music, in which successive metrical cycles are of equal length, and heterometric music, where the length and structure of the cycle can change. In South Asia, most music is isometric. In the classical traditions, each composition normally employs one tāla, in which the length of the cycle is defined by a clap-pattern or instrumental time-line. There are, however, rare cases where the tāla changes in the course of a composition, and such cases are more frequent in the context of religious music, but the origins and purposes of such heterometrical complexity are unclear. Three examples are analyzed from the Hindu-Buddhist traditions of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, featuring metrical compression and proportional time spans. The possible significance of “time changes” in these and analogous cases is discussed in relation to cultural meanings, historical antecedents, religious and social behavior, and the cognitive processes of performance.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: meter, tāla, Newar music, religious music, Hinduism, Buddhism, cognition, entrainment, flow, meaning
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of Music
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Music
ISBN: 9780190841492
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 09:06
Related URLs: https://global. ... ?cc=gb&lang=en&

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