Measure
Title Details

342 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

45 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Measure

In Pursuit of Musical Time

by Marc D. Moskovitz

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Follows 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 an exploration of musical time keeping as expressed in the artwork and musical writing of the Renaissance, sources that inform our early understanding of an age when music making was bound up with motions of the body and the pulsing of the human heart. With the adoption of the simple pendulum and the subsequent incorporation of tempo-related language, musicians gained the ability to communicate concepts of speed and slowness with ever-increasing precision. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed the development of a diverse array of musical time-keeping devices, yet it was not until the nineteenth century that a single device combined the critical elements of accuracy, functionality and affordability.

Enter the metronome: portable and affordable, a triumph of innovation that enabled musicians to establish and faithfully reproduce musical time with accuracy and ease. From Beethoven to Ligeti, Moskovitz looks to a number of distinguished composers who used or refused this revolutionary machine and explores the complicated relationship that unfolded between the metronome, the musical world and practitioners in other disciplines who sought to exploit its potential.

Engagingly written, Measure: In Pursuit of Musical Time will appeal to professionals and amateurs alike.
Introduction
HANDS
1 Hand and Heart
2 Motion and Rest
PENDULUMS
3 A Logically Ordered Universe
4 A Line, a Weight and a Nail
5 Court and Académie
6 New Systems
7 Curiosities and Chronometers
8 Revolutionary Minds
9 Clockwork
10 Hammers, Dials and Barrels
METRONOMES
11 Winkel's Prototype
12 Maelzel's Metronome
13 Composer's Calibrations
14 An Incomparable Lack of Judgement
15 New Currents
16 Metronome Sense
Afterword: Last Object
Works Cited

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.

"This is a fascinating study of the history of keeping time in music, from pulse to pendulum to metronome. It reminds us that such seemingly dry and rigorous methods were developed to preserve a composer's intentions or to perfect a performer's rhythm, thus allowing for maximum freedom and faithful inspiration in performance." Stephen Hough, pianist, composer, writer.

Hardcover

9781783276615

September 2022

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9781800104129

September 2022

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9781800104136

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Title Details

342 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

45 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press