Talk:Metric modulation

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I understand the concept (I've seen it in Carter scores - it's true, he does it a lot), but I don't understand the "formula". I'm not very sure what it's meant to show, and it's not clear to me what the right hand side of it means - I can't get my head around "number of pivot note values". I may just be being thick, but I doubt I'm the only one. Any chance of a little further explanation? --Camembert

Gladly, though I've never studied this subject in a structured environment. How is my explanation?Hyacinth 03:58, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I think I see what it's getting at now. Thanks. It does look like a rather complex way of explaining something pretty simple, but if it's in the book, well, who am I to argue? :) One thing: shouldn't the right hand side be "number of pivot notes in new tempo/number of pivot notes in old tempo" rather than "old measure/old tempo"? --Camembert
Good catch. I'm working on many rhythm related articles and will probably also change "measure" to "metric unit" soon.Hyacinth 22:46, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Aren't figures 1a and 1b misleading or downright wrong? Although the semiquaver = semiquaver marking in fig 1a is not technically incorrect, it isn't helpful: crotchet = crotchet would be more useful. And in 1b, semiquaver = semiquaver is just plain wrong, since it means the bar on the right lasts 7/4 times as long as the one on the left, whereas what is intended is that they be equal in duration. Should it not say crotchet = double-dotted crotchet? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Metric modulation in Renaissance music?[edit]

I always thought that this was a technique used in Renaissance/medieval music, but I can't find a reference. Is it labeled differently? I have vague memories from music history of reading through scores from ~1500s where the tempo switched from (e.g.) 3/2 to 4/4 and the score included the ratio. Something like 1 half note = 1 dotted quarter note, or something similar. I've search around but have been unable to find the term for that (if there is one).

--Sstrader (talk) 15:51, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

There are simple examples of the metric modulation throughout classical music - certainly in Brahms and Sibelius, I think Beethoven also. I believe that you are correct about pre-baroque music as well, though I'm afraid I don't know any concrete examples offhand.
--Davenport96 (talk) 19:10, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

It would be my assumption, (and like Davenport, I have no specific examples) that metric modulation could well have been quite common pre-baroque. I would even be willing to guess that it was used (though not completely understood) long before a solid definition of meter developed. Think of all the folk music that might have been created, and handed down orally. The performer might have been able to perform a meter modulation and never recognized exactly what happened. You could argue that said performer was merely estimating a tempo change. However, it could also be possible that the performer recognized a ratio relationship. Again, no proof. Just an interesting thought. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dmd008 (talkcontribs) 03:01, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there's a citable early sixteenth-century example in the Credo of Taverner's Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas, which was probably composed in or about the 1520s. I'm using this as an example simply because I happen to have the score at hand! If you take Benham's 1969 edition (Stainer & Bell 1971, ISMN M 2202 1659 6), at the end of bar 33 of the movement the soprano voice switches from 3/4 to 6/8 with the bass remaining in 3/4, and the soprano tempo is marked (crotchet) -> (dotted crotchet). The tempo and signature changes are reversed at the end of bar 41.

There are earlier examples of which I'm aware; the earliest that I've encountered are in Dunstaple's works, which pushes the date of this technique back to at least the first half of the fifteenth century. If people are of a mind to correct the notion that this is a modern technique, I'll go and find my Dunstaple scores and come up with an example. --Kay Dekker (talk) 21:47, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

This is fascinating indeed. From the examples given above, I would personally have no objection to expanding the scope of the article to include earlier instances - it appears to be the same essential technique as far as I can see, though I'm not familiar with those particular examples. Davenport96 (talk) 14:40, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Metric modulation vs Tempo modulation[edit]

Is this the same terms or different? --A1 (talk) 11:35, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

My understanding is that these are different terms for the same thing. I've always known them as metric modulations - does anyone have any sources/references for the latter term being used? Davenport96 (talk) 14:34, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Ferneyhough's metric modulation and use of metre[edit]

Brian Ferneyhough's use of metre as a mean to metric modulation should be included here if someone cares to explain what he's up to. Like Metre in 1/5 and such.

-- (talk) 12:35, 4 May 2010 (UTC)