Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



In his book, Fantasy Pieces, Harald Krebs presents a taxonomy of metric dissonance that lays a foundation for further study. The system that Krebs presents leaves ample opportunity to answer the following questions: Do metric dissonances that are labeled the same way have the same function in their musical context? What is the role of listening in the categorization of metric dissonance? While many theorists, including Richard Cohn, Walter Frisch, and Yonatan Malin, have provided valuable insights to the realm of metric dissonance, their work focuses mainly on hypermeter, large-scale formal implications, or specific analyses. In light of the above problem, the purpose of this thesis is to expand the knowledge and understanding of instances of surface-level metric dissonances with particular attention paid to some of the ways a passage may be heard. Subsequently, I will propose extensions and modifications to Krebs’s system, thereby furthering our understanding of the expressive trajectory of metric dissonance. I will draw upon the work of several other theorists, including Leonard G. Ratner, Robert Hatten, and Yonatan Malin in order to illuminate relative categories. In particular, I will define and illustrate categories of metric dissonance that bridge the gap between the written score and the sounding music, developing an understanding of this intriguing phenomenon through a hermeneutical lens.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Samuel Ng

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