Composer-Specific Aspects of Musical Performance: An Evaluation of Clynes’s Theory of Pulse for Performances of Mozart and Beethoven

Thompson W.F. (1989) Composer-Specific Aspects of Musical Performance: An Evaluation of Clynes’s Theory of Pulse for Performances of Mozart and Beethoven. Music Perception, 7 1: 15-42. doi:10.2307/40285446


Author Thompson W.F.
Title Composer-Specific Aspects of Musical Performance: An Evaluation of Clynes’s Theory of Pulse for Performances of Mozart and Beethoven
Journal name Music Perception   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1533-8312
Publication date 1989-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2307/40285446
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Start page 15
End page 42
Total pages 28
Subject 1210 Music
Abstract This report examines Clynes’s theory of “pulse” for performances of music by Mozart and Beethoven (e.g., Clynes, 1983, 1987). In three experiments that used a total of seven different compositions, an analysis-bysynthesis approach was used to examine the repetitive patterns of timing and loudness thought to be associated with performances of Mozart and Beethoven. Across performances, judgments by trained musicians provided support for some of the basic claims made by Clynes. However, judgments of individual performances were not always consistent with predictions. In Experiment 1, melodies were judged to be more musical if they were played with the pulse than if they were played with an altered version of the pulse or if they were played without expression. In Experiment 2, listeners were asked to judge whether performances of Mozart were “Mozartian” and whether performances of Beethoven were “Beethovenian.” Ratings were highest if the pulse of the composer was implemented, and significantly lower if the pulse of another composer was implemented (e.g., the Mozart pulse in the Beethoven piece) in all or part of each piece. In Experiment 3, a Beethoven piece was played with each of three pulses: Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert. Listeners judged the version with the Beethoven pulse as most Beethovenian, but the version with the Haydn pulse as most “musical.” Although the overall results were encouraging, it is suggested that there are significant difficulties in evaluating Clynes’s theory and that much more research is needed before his ideas can be assessed adequately. The need for clarification of some theoretical issues surrounding the concept of pulse is emphasized.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
 
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Created: Tue, 14 Jun 2016, 13:30:50 EST by System User