Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Forte, Allen. "The Structural Origin of Exact Tempi in the Brahms-Haydn Variations." The Music Review 18 (May 1957): 138-49.

Tempi in the Variationen über ein Thema von Joseph Haydn are determined by rhythmic figures which are in turn dictated by melodic patterns present in the theme. Although the analysis of this composition and its rhythmic elements is not Schenkerian, the terminology derives from Schenker's system. The discussion of the background, middleground, and foreground demonstrates at three levels how the melody provides inherent patterns through individual note groupings, tonal values, and recurring pitch accents. The interrelation of these areas can be described as either subdivisions or shifting of rhythmic units, and all of the rhythmic constructions stem from these techniques. The exact tempi derive from correlations between the variations; in order to maintain the perception of proper stress and accent (as dictated by the analysis), it becomes necessary to stay within the confines of a narrow range of tempo.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Elisabeth Honn

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