Brahms and the Shaping of Time

Brahms and the Shaping of Time

Edited by Scott Murphy


University of Rochester Press



Combines fresh approaches to the life and music of the beloved nineteenth-century composer with the latest and most significant ways of thinking about rhythm, meter, and musical time.
Brahms and the Shaping of Time brings together essays by leading music scholars, each of which analyzes the music of Brahms with a particular focus on the music's temporality. The volume reveals numerous ways in which Brahms manipulates such basic elements as rhythm and phrase structure in pieces ranging from the Third Piano Sonata and the Double Concerto to a number of his most important and beloved songs.

The first two essays examine aspects of rhythm and meter in Brahms's lieder, recognizing his meaningful deviations from temporal norms. The second two pick up the mantle from William Rothstein's landmark text Phrase Rhythm in Tonal Music. Rothstein's study focused on the music of other composers, but suggested how a future study might explore the music of Brahms; these essays contribute to such a study while also pivoting the book's focus from vocal to instrumental music. Each of the chapters of the third pair cross-examines and expands our understanding of the hemiola. The concluding trio of essays promotes, through further analysis of individual works, ways of hearing that encourage the reader to breach the confines of the score's metric notation.

Together, the essays in this volume offer fresh approaches to the life and music of the beloved nineteenth-century composer and incorporate significant new ways of thinking about rhythm, meter, and musical time.

CONTRIBUTORS: Eytan Agmon, Richard Cohn, Harald Krebs, Ryan McClelland, Jan Miyake, Scott Murphy, Samuel Ng, Heather Platt, Frank Samarotto

Scott Murphy is professor of music theory at the University of Kansas.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787440173), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


200 line illustrations
308 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
Hardback, 9781580465977, June 2018
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS006000, MUS050000, MUS041000
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Table of Contents

Foreword: Brahms, Analysis, and Time
Expressive Declamation in the Songs of Johannes Brahms
Temporal Disruptions and Shifting Levels of Discourse in Brahms's Lieder
Phrase Rhythm and the Expression of Longing in Brahms's "Gestillte Sehnsucht," Op. 91, No. 1
On the Oddness of Brahms's Five-Measure Phrases
Hemiola as Agent of Metric Resolution in the Music of Brahms
Brahms at Twenty: Hemiolic Varietals and Metric Malleability in an Early Sonata
Containment and Wave: Temporal Experiment in Brahms's Opus 2
Rhythmic Displacement in the Fugue of Brahms's Handel Variations: The Refashioning of a Traditional Device
Durational Enharmonicism and the Opening of Brahms's "Double Concerto"

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