Bruckner rhythm

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The Bruckner rhythm is a 2 + 3 (duplet + triplet) or 3 + 2 rhythm in Anton Bruckner's symphonic music, where it occurs prevalently,[1][2] and in many different, varied ways.[3]

One example is in the main theme of the first movement of Symphony No. 4, from bars 43 forward:[4]


{ \new PianoStaff <<
\new Staff \relative es' { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"piano" \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \stemUp \tempo 2 = 55 \clef "tenor" \key es \major \time 2/2
  es4 _\markup{ \italic {marc.} } \ff bes4 \times 2/3 {
    as4 g4 f4
  }
  | % 2
  es4 r4 r2 }
>> }

Bruckner also used the rhythm with a single pitch repeated, and this is the only way it occurs in Symphony No. 2 (e.g., bars 20 and 122).[5] In Symphony No. 6, the Bruckner rhythm occurs to a much greater extent than in previous works, in several parts at slightly different times. At first it occurs as a string ostinato high in the violins' range against a melody of different rhythm in the cellos (bar 3),[6] while at bars 195 - 209 it serves to articulate hexatonic cycle block chords.[7] The rhythm occurs in somewhat more "manageable" form in the secondary theme group of Symphony No. 8, where it usually occurs in the same way in all the parts.


{ \new PianoStaff <<
\new Staff { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"piano" \key c \minor \clef treble \time 2/2 \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \stemUp \tempo 2 = 55
         <> \p<> ^\markup \italic {"Breit und ausdrucksvoll" } d'4( e') \tuplet 3/2 { fis' g' a' }
         b'2 cis'4 d'
         ees'( f') \tuplet 3/2 { g' a' b' }
         b'( c'') c''2 }
  \new Staff << 
    \new Voice \relative c' { \stemUp \clef bass \key c \minor \time 2/2 
    b1~ 
    b2 b2  
    b2. d4  
    ees2. r4 } 
    \new Voice \relative c { \stemDown  
    <g d'>1~
    <g d'>2 <g f'>2
    <g ees'>2. <gis f'>4
    <a ges'>2. r4  } 
>>  >> }

The Bruckner rhythm also occurs in the works of other composers, such as in Howard Hanson's Romantic Symphony, where it occurs mostly in the horns' and trumpets' parts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Milton John Cross & David Ewen, Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music. New York: Doubleday (1962): 158. "The second element is a rhythmic pattern so often employed by the composer that it is known as the "Bruckner rhythm."
  2. ^ p. 59, Hubert-Schönzeler (1978) Hans. London Bruckner Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd.
  3. ^ John Williamson, "The Brucknerian symphony: an overview" The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner, ed. John Williamson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2004): 79. "Yet even so instantly recognizable a rhythmic tic can be used with great variety."
  4. ^ Benjamin Korstvedt, "Aspects of Bruckner's approach to symphonic form" The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner, ed. John Williamson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2004): 186.
  5. ^ Derek Watson, Bruckner. New York: Schuster & Macmillan (1997): 81
  6. ^ (Williamson, 2004): 79
  7. ^ Kevin Swinden, "Bruckner and harmony" The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner, ed. John Williamson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2004): 222. "The orchestral texture through this passage is thick, articulating block chords in the 'Bruckner-rhythm' that characterizes the movement, supporting a reprise of the first theme of the symphony."

External links[edit]