Measure
Title Details

288 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

45 b/w illustrations Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

Measure

In Pursuit of Musical Time

by Marc Moskovitz

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  • Author
While our modern concepts of musical time and tempo have been largely shaped by the metronome, musicians have long depended on a variety of methods, including the use of hands and feet, the incorporation...
While our modern concepts of musical time and tempo have been largely shaped by the metronome, musicians have long depended on a variety of methods, including the use of hands and feet, the incorporation of markings and pendulums. Measure: In Pursuit of Musical Time tells the fascinating story of musical timekeeping, beginning in an age before the existence of external measuring devices and continuing to the present-day use of the smartphone app.

The book opens with a consideration of Renaissance images that inform our early understanding of the physical gestures associated with musical timekeeping. Early music treatises provide a first-hand glimpse into a musical world when timekeeping was bound up with motions of the body and the pulsing of the human heart. The adoption of the simple pendulum and the incorporation of tempo-related language profoundly altered the musical landscape. Such approaches allowed composers to communicate ideas about speed and slowness with increasing precision. Yet neither language nor the pendulum's natural swing proved sufficient to meet the needs of a changing musical world.

Enter the metronome, a device that ultimately allowed musicians to consider musical time in real time. A triumph of innovation, the metronome was celebrated by many as the fulfillment of a centuries-long search. Yet not everyone was convinced of its benefits. From Beethoven to Ligeti, the book looks to a number of influential composers who have used or refused this revolutionary machine.

Measure: In Pursuit of Musical Time follows a host of brilliant polymaths, trailblazing musicians and intrepid inventors in search of ever more accurate and practical ways to measure and master one of music's most critical and challenging aspects.

MARC D. MOSKOVITZ is the author of Alexander Zemlinsky: A Lyric Symphony and co-author of Beethoven's Cello: Five Revolutionary Sonatas and Their World, both published by the Boydell Press. He has contributed program notes to orchestras and opera houses in the United States, Germany, Spain and China and entries for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. A dedicated teacher and performer, Moskovitz also serves as principal cellist of the ProMusica Columbus Chamber Orchestra.

Hardcover

9781783276615

September 2022

£19.99 / $25.95

Available to pre-order from June 2022

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9781800104129

September 2022

£15.99 / $17.99

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Ebook (EPUB)

9781800104136

September 2022

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Title Details

288 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

45 b/w illustrations Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press