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Extended Upbeats in the Classical Minuet: Interactions


with Hypermeter and Phrase Structure
ryan mcclelland
This article considers the hypermetric properties of minuets that begin with an upbeat gesture that
spans at least one measure. Analyses of several minuets by Haydn and Mozart, and a quasi-minuet
movement by Brahms, demonstrate five types of interaction between the extended upbeat and hypermeter. The analyses describe the evolving hypermetric structure of the minuets openings and
the subsequent development of this thematic material. The extended upbeat emerges in these minuets as a key compositional element with implications for expressive meaning and performance.
Keywords: Minuet, Hypermeter, Upbeat, Anacrusis, Haydn

ecent theoretical work devotes considerable


attention to rhythm and meter in tonal music.1 In
analytical studies, the role of rhythmic-metric design
in shaping large-scale structure and expressive trajectory is
receiving wider recognition, especially in treatments of nineteenth-century repertoire.2 Detailed studies of rhythmicmetric process across individual movements by Haydn or
Mozart are less common, perhaps reflecting the more subtle
deployment of rhythmic-metric conflict in this earlier repertoire and its typical manifestation within phrase rhythm
rather than as grouping or displacement dissonances.3

ch
190[6]Snekr 1

This article will not digress into my conception of meter, but it will
become clear that I favor a relatively strict separation of rhythm from
meter, a clear distinction between (hyper)metric accents and other types
of accents (durational, tonal, stress, etc.), and a flexibly periodic sense of
hypermeter. The central theoretical works for my understanding of
rhythm and meter are Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983, Schachter 1987,
and Rothstein 1989.
See, for example, Cohn 1992a, Cohn 2001 (the analysis of Brahmss
Von ewiger Liebe), Krebs 1999, Kurth 1999, McClelland 2004a,
McClelland 2004b, and Smith 2001.
A movement such as the minuet from Mozarts G-minor Symphony,
K. 550 is exceptional in its use of grouping dissonance (see Cohn

The present study builds on analyses of eighteenthcentury music by William Rothstein, Channan Willner, and
Eric McKee. Rothstein considers hypermetricand metric
ambiguity in Beethovens early piano sonatas, describing
pieces where periodic counterstresses permit a secondary
(hyper)meter to shadow the primary (hyper)meter.4 Willner
examines counterstress in the music of J. S. Bach.5 He
demonstrates how a slight counterstress against the meter
or hypermeter in the opening measures of a piece may shape
subsequent eventseven though the counterstress is not
sufficiently periodic or prominent to establish a shadow
(hyper)meter. Baroque rhythmic-metric structure differs, of
course, from that of the late-eighteenth century, but Willners

1992b). A recent exploration of metric process across an entire movement is Eric McKees discussion of metrical rotations in the finale of
Mozarts Piano Concerto in C Major, K. 467 (McKee 2004).
Rothstein 1995. The term shadow meter comes from Frank Samarotto,
who has subsequently used the concept in published work on Beethoven (see Samarotto 1999). Rothstein 1995 builds upon earlier work on
hypermetric conflict in Beethoven in Imbrie 1973 and Kamien 1993.
Willner 1998.

23

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

ideas are relevant to the present article.6 The analyses in my


study also reveal the importance of competing hypermetric
cues in tonal music and the potential of an opening phrases
hypermetric construction to invite development.
The minuet was the most important social dance of the
eighteenth century, and it became the most frequent dance
type in the instrumental music of the late-eighteenth century. Eric McKee has explored the influence of the social
minuet on the minuets in Bachs French suites.7 McKees
discussion focuses on a unique characteristic of the minuets
dance steps: its dance steps span two measures of music.8
Thus, unlike nearly all other contemporary dance music,
there is a functional incentive for a minuets music to not only
cue the location of downbeats but also project every other
downbeat more strongly. McKee demonstrates that Bachs
minuets often employ a specific type of phrase construction
the sentence. With their clear projection of two-measure
hypermeter, Bachs sentences, McKee argues, betray the influence of the functional minuet.
In the early-eighteenth century, functional and art minuets were relatively similar to one another. There are no upbeats in minuets from the first decades of the century (such
as those in J. S. Bachs orchestral and keyboard suites); many
minuets of the Viennese classical style begin with a quarter-

7
8

Notably, many of Willners examples are from dance movements from


Bachs keyboard suites, pieces that come closer to late-eighteenthcentury style than do many Baroque genres.
McKee 1999.
Another discussion of this aspect of the minuet is Russell 1992.
Russells goalwhich is quite different from McKeesis to debunk the
myth of the 8 + 8 model for minuets propagated by some eighteenthcentury theorists. He presents evidence of the danceability of minuets
with irregular phrase lengths by examining the choreographies of these
minuets in dancing manuals. Although these minuets depart from fourmeasure phrases and eight-measure strains, their phrases and strains
always consists of an even number of measures.

note upbeat.9 This quarter-note upbeat is simply an anacrusis to the downbeat that launches the minuets hypermeter.
A small number of minuets in the instrumental music of the
late-eighteenth century, however, begin with a considerably
longer upbeat. The longer upbeat often works against the clear
projection of two-measure hypermeter that is central to the
functional minuet. This article examines art minuets with
upbeat gestures of at least one measure in length, showing
different ways extended upbeats can interact with hypermeter and shape the subsequent course of a minuet (or trio).10
With the ubiquity of minuet dancing in their milieu, late-

10

The expanded rhythmic definition of the minuet is related to the exclusion of other dance types from the multi-movement instrumental works
of the late-eighteenth century. The passepied, which occurs in Baroque
suites, was faster than the minuet but shared its triple meter and was
danced using a similar pattern of steps. The passepied began with an
upbeat (quarter-note upbeat in 3/4 or eighth-note upbeat in 3/8).
Popular triple-meter Austrian dances, especially Lndler, also begin
with upbeats and could explain the broader rhythmic definition of lateeighteenth-century art minuets.
McKee 2004 (which appeared after the present article was written)
studies anacruses of a measure or more in length in Mozarts instrumental music, but most of the structures that McKee reveals differ from
the extended upbeats I discuss. This is, in part, because McKee gives
several examples where hyperdownbeats fall in the third or the fourth
measure of a melodic statement. These melodic statements often have
no upbeat gesture; the first downbeat of the melodic statement simply
does not coincide with a hyperdownbeat in the established hypermeter.
The melodic statement (the grouping) is decisively out-of-phase with
the hypermeter; there is no low-level grouping boundary (or ambiguity
about the existence of such a grouping boundary) at the location of the
hyperdownbeat. Only McKees Examples 2 and 3 (from trios in minuet
movements of Mozarts divertimenti K. 563 and K. 439) have the
structural features of the extended upbeats I explore; these are both
passages where the hyperdownbeat falls in the second measure of the
melodic statement (the first measure does provide an upbeat gesture).
In the categorization I develop in this article, McKees interpretation of
K. 563 and K. 439 places them in the second category (gestural and
hypermetric extended upbeat). Except for the finale of K. 467 described

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
eighteenth century composers surely would have expected
listeners to respond to these unusual minuet beginnings.11
Beginning a minuet with an unharmonized melody suggests the presence of an extended upbeat, but the lack of harmonization may not be absolutely necessary and certainly is
not sufficient. Example 1(a) gives the opening of the minuet
movement from Haydns string quartet op. 76, no. 3. This
movement opens with a four-note figure that constitutes an
extended upbeat. The trio of this movement, shown in
Example 1(b), also starts with an unharmonized melody, but
its effect is entirely different. The rhythmic variety and large
melodic leaps immediately cue the listener that the phrase
proper is underway. Not even for a measure does the start of
the trio possess the gestural quality of an upbeat. The preceding minuet does end with a four-measure hypermeasure,
thus promoting hearing the first measure of the trio as a hyperdownbeat at the four-measure level, but even without this
context there is no uncertainty.
The openings in Example 1(a) and (b) constitute extreme
situations along a continuum of possibilities. The start of the
minuet from op. 76, no. 3 is both a gestural upbeat and a hypermetric upbeat; the start of its trio is not an extended upbeat. In some pieces, the hypermetric and gestural interpretation of an opening figure changes as the music continues. I
consider minuets with extended upbeats to fall into three
main categories:
1. Gestural, but not hypermetric, extended upbeat. In these
minuets, one momentarily infers an extended hyper-

11

above in note 3, the extended anacruses McKee studies are a consistent


feature of a thematic section; they are not subject to the ambiguities
and reinterpretations found in most of my examples.
Gretchen Wheelock approaches Haydns minuets as a conscious play
with the conventions of the minuet and argues that contemporary listeners would have recognized Haydns witticisms. Although Wheelock
does address some metric issues, especially parenthetical insertions, she
does not mention the presence of extended upbeats as an element of
Haydns topical play. See Wheelock 1992, especially 5589.

25

metric upbeat, but it quickly becomes clear that the


minuets first downbeat was a hyperdownbeat. At thematic returns, the upbeat figure retains the gestural
and rhythmic properties of an upbeat, but it is not a
hypermetric upbeat.
2. Gestural and hypermetric extended upbeat. In these minuets, the extended upbeat is consistently heard as hypermetrically weak. The extended upbeat may later
function parenthetically between hypermeasures (or
possibly expand a lasttypically fourthhyperbeat),
or it may be integrated into the weak part of a hypermeasure (i.e., serve as a fourth hyperbeat).
3. Gestural and possibly hypermetric extended upbeat. This
category consists of two distinct situations. In the first
type, the upbeat gesture has a consistent hypermetric
identity, but it can be interpreted as hypermetrically
weak or as hypermetrically strong; different aspects of
the music support each hearing. In other minuets, the
music resists either a consistently strong or weak hypermetric hearing of the upbeat; the phrases are sufficiently asymmetrical to require frequent metric reinterpretations and/or suspension of hypermeter.
Two additional situations arise in the minuet repertoire, albeit infrequently:
4. Gestural extended upbeat that later becomes a hypermetric
extended upbeat. These minuets begin like those in the
first category, but at a subsequent thematic return the
latent potential in the opening material is channeled
into a hypermetric extended upbeat.
5. Hypermetric extended upbeat emerges from non-upbeat
gesture. Subsequent events challenge the listener to
infer an extended upbeat even though the opening
material does not possess the gestural qualities of an
upbeat.
The balance of this article explores each of these categories
in turn, with the third category receiving the most attention.

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)


a gestural upbeat

/0

ll ll

/

l l
0


ll ll


l l

(a) Haydn, String Quartet op. 76, no. 3, iii, 15

NOT a gestural upbeat

/0


\
/

0
1

(b) Haydn, String Quartet op. 76, no. 3, iii, start of trio
example 1. Unharmonized beginnings.

Mozarts minuets occasionally begin with extended upbeats,


but most of my examples come from Haydns minuets, especially those in the string quartets.12 Beethovens minuets
rarely have extended upbeats; this hypermetric play occurs in
12

The compositional language in Haydns string quartets tends to be


more complex than in his symphonies. Floyd Grave has studied temporary changes in projected meter in Haydn and found the string quartets
have the greatest frequency of metric dissonances, followed by the symphonies, solo keyboard sonatas, keyboard trios, and lastly the baryton
trios (see Grave 1995, 201). William Rothstein asserts that phrase
rhythm is more adventurous in Haydns string quartets than in his symphonies, though the difference is greatest in works composed before
1780 or after 1790 (see Rothstein 1989, 131).

his scherzos. The opening of the scherzo from the Seventh


Symphony is a celebrated example, but similar hypermetric
manipulation is evident already in the scherzos from the
piano trios op. 1, no. 1 and op. 1, no. 2. The inclusion of extended upbeats in Beethovens earliest published scherzos
suggests an evolutionary link between the minuets explored
in this article and the nineteenth-century scherzo, but examination of this relationship requires a separate study. The
present article considers one nineteenth-century piece: the
Allegretto quasi Menuetto movement from Brahmss Eminor cello sonata. Brahmss movement takes the extended
upbeat as its guiding compositional idea, incorporating and
reshaping features from its Classical antecedents.

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
gestural extended upbeats
The first category of extended upbeat in the minuet
repertoire is an upbeat gesture that does not delay the first
hyperdownbeat. The minuet from Mozarts Dissonance
string quartet, K. 465, provides a good illustration; Example
2 gives a short score with hypermetric annotations. The
stepwise motion and continuous eighth notes of the unharmonized violin line create an upbeat gesture that leads to the
C5 of m. 2. That this C5 is not a hyperdownbeat is first intimated by its harmonization: submediant rather than tonic.
The hypermetric strength of m. 1 is further confirmed by the
rest on the second beat of m. 4, the change of motivic material for mm. 58, and the clear division of mm. 58 into twomeasure units through repetition. The hypermetric structure
is sealed by the forceful beginning of a sequential passage at
m. 9, and the remainder of the first reprise clearly delineates
four-measure groups.13 A particularly beautiful detail is the
variant of m. 1 that sounds in m. 15 as the minuet approaches
an authentic cadence in the key of the dominant; this variant
occurs in a measure that is hypermetrically strong compared
to the following measure, recalling the hypermetric relationship between mm. 12.
When the opening returns at m. 40, it does so after a succession of four-measure hypermeasures (mm. 2124, 2427,
2831, 3235, and 3639). The only hypermetric irregularity
in the second reprise occurs at m. 24, where an elision
changes a fourth hyperbeat into a hyperdownbeat. This type
of elision is particularly common, and in this instance it results from the tonal surprise of m. 24. An A is expected on
the downbeat of m. 24 to complete the repetition of the
opening idea in D minor, but instead a jarring B interjects
and initiates a four-measure group that ultimately leads to
A. Besides having a periodic hypermetric preparation, the
13

I refer to the two repeated parts of a minuet as the first reprise and second reprise. I refer to the restatement of the opening material during
the second reprise as the thematic return.

27

thematic return is preceded by hypermetrically strong adumbrations of the upbeat gesture (see especially mm. 28, 30, 34,
36, and 38). The four-measure expansion of the dominant
arrival (mm. 3639) not only provides the conventional prolongation of the home dominant before the thematic return
but solidifies the hypermetrically strong placement of the
upbeat gesture by making two hypermetrically strong statements of this gesture its sole melodic content. This clarification is particularly apt after the conjoined statements of this
motive in the three measures preceding the dominant arrival
(mm. 3234). After the thematic return, the hypermetric
structure repeats that of the first reprise (with an additional
repetition of the final four measures). Mozart acknowledges
the special quality of the opening measure through the imitations in the viola and cello in mm. 4142, but these imitations have no impact on hypermeter or phrase structure.
The trio of K. 465 reinforces the hypermetric identity of
the minuets upbeat in two ways. The trio proceeds entirely
in four-measure hypermeasures, providing a metric context
into which a hypermetrically accented understanding of the
minuets first measure will re-enter smoothly. In addition,
the second reprise of the trio recalls the minuets opening
motive. In the dominant prolongation before the thematic
return, a turn figure that emphasizes F passes between the
violins (Example 3). Although this turn figure does not exactly replicate the minuets opening motive, it is not motivically related to the eighth-note figures heard earlier in the
trio; elsewhere in the trio, eighth-note figures are restricted
to repeated-note accompaniments in the viola and second
violin. The hypermetric placement of these turn figures is
significant. The most salient iterationsthose in the higher
registeroccur in hypermetrically stronger measures. Thus,
like the motivic recalls in the minuet, these turn figures reinforce a hypermetrically strong interpretation of the gestural
upbeat.
Some readers may be uneasy with my references to a hypermetrically strong figure as a gestural upbeat. There are
two points to keep in mind. First, on an initial hearing of the

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)


/0

\
\

0
Allegro

^[


3



\
[


4
1
2
3
l
l
l
l
l
l

l l l l l


(recalls m. 1)
\

8va

( (

[
( (

18

27

35

(expanded



\
\

4=1

[
[





[
3
4)
1
2
3

8va

example 2. Mozart, String Quartet K. 465, iii, 142: a gesturalbut not hypermetricextended upbeat.

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

83


[
2
3

\ cf. m. 1

\
4

29

cf. m. 1

example 3. Mozart, String Quartet K. 465, iii, 8392: hypermetrically strong recalls of upbeat motive.

opening of a minuet such as the one from K. 465, the location of the first hyperdownbeat is momentarily unclear.
Second, and more critically, I have been referring to this
motive as a gestural upbeat, not a metric upbeat. This motive
possesses the rhythmic and melodic properties of an upbeat
gesture, even though it is deployed in strong-weak hypermetric configurations. Each time the strongest metric accent
falls on the motives third note, but the rhythmic momentum
continues to the durational accent that comes at the downbeat of the next measure. Although these successive iterations are in no way hypermetric upbeats, they have a rhythmic directedness that has an upbeat gestural quality. This
situation reveals something that is lost if one conceives of
meter as rhythm rather than viewing meter and rhythm as
separate, interacting entities.

stands apart from the underlying hypermeter, but usually is


integrated.
The pitch material of the upbeat in the K. 575 trio is similar to that of the minuet from the Dissonance quartet, but
the upbeat spans an additional measure. Example 4 suggests
that the hypermetric interpretation of the upbeat in K. 575 is
entirely different. In the trios third measure, the cello enters
with a four-measure antecedent phrase; after a return of the
two-measure upbeat, the cello provides a four-measure consequent phrase. The two iterations of the upbeat gesture
stand apart from the hypermetric regularity of the eightmeasure parallel period. The first reprise of this trio does not
consist of two six-measure hypermeasures, each organized as
three pairs of measures; nor is hypermeter above the twomeasure level inoperative. A more appropriate interpretation
is two four-measure hypermeasures, each of which is preceded
by an elongated upbeat. Because of the clear gestural contrast
between the upbeat figures and the antecedent-consequent
melodies, it is not difficult to hear the elongated upbeats and
the underlying periodicity of four-measure hypermeter.14 In
this instance, the elongated upbeat before the consequent
phrase simply suspends hypermetric counting; it does not

gestural and hypermetric extended upbeats


The second type of extended upbeat in the minuet repertoire consists of a gestural upbeat that actually is a hypermetric upbeat. Here I consider two contrasting examples: the
trio from the minuet movement of Mozarts string quartet,
K. 575 and the second movement of Brahmss cello sonata,
op. 38. In the Mozart, the upbeat stands apart from the underlying hypermeter; in the Brahms, the upbeat sometimes

14

The same interpretation of the start of the K. 575 trio is advocated in


Rothstein 1989, 3940.

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30
Vln. 1
Vln. 2

Va.

Vc.

Vln. 1
Vln. 2

Va.

Vc.

Vln. 1
Vln. 2

Va.

Vc.

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)


Antecedent phrase
l l
$74
/

l l l l
\

/0

\

0
%
(hypermetric upbeat) 1
l l phrase
$83 Consequent

l l l l l
l l l l l l l l l
l l

$91

Va.

Vc.

$100

llll ll

%

3
5th progression

( (


l l l l l l l l l
( (

( (
1

l l l l l l l l l l l l l

l
l l l l l l l l l l
llllll



%
1

Vln. 1
Vln. 2

l l l l l l l l l l l l

(hypermetric upbeat)

l l l l l l l
l l l l l





lcresc.l l l l l

llllll

cresc.


\ (5th progression)


\
3
4
(hypermetric upbeat)

Vln. 2

Vln. 1

l
l l l l l

ll ll ll

3

ll ll l l

l l
l




l l l l l l l l
l
l l
l

2

example 4. Mozart, String Quartet K. 575, iii, start of trio: a gestural and hypermetric extended upbeat.

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
expand the fourth hyperbeat from the end of the consequent
phrase. In the middle of a composition, an extended hypermetric upbeat that stands apart from the main hypermeter
sometimes has more of the quality of an expansion of the
previous hyperbeat than a hypermetric parenthesis. This is a
subtle distinction, but one that I find musically meaningful.
In the second reprise, Mozart maintains the separateness
of the upbeat figures from a highly symmetrical underlying
phrase design. The second reprise begins with a sixteenmeasure sentence that closes on the dominant.15 The second
reprise closes with a restatement of the music from the first
reprise with changes in register and instrumentation; the
high melody eventually is played by the instrument that it
ought to have been played bythe first violin. The juncture
between the end of the sixteen-measure sentence and the start
of the thematic return receives special treatment. The end of
the sentence would permit the antecedent phrase to begin
immediately at the end of the sentence, as indicated in the
recomposition in Example 5. Not only does Mozart insert
the two-measure upbeat, but he adds an accompaniment
to the upbeat. Adding an accompaniment could easily lend
hypermetric strength to the upbeat gesture, but a pitch relationship between the new accompaniment and the end of the
previous sentence prevents such strengthening. In the hypothetical recomposition shown in Example 5, a bracket shows
a foreground fifth-progression from D to G (which embellishes the earlier middleground interruption). In Mozarts version, the top notes of the added accompaniment are B and A,
expanding the fifth-progression across the extended upbeat,
as shown by the bracket above the score in Example 4. Based
15

One might construe these sixteen measures as two four-measure


phrases followed by an eight-measure phrase. Given the sequential relationship of the two four-measure units and the subsequent shortening
of melodic units and acceleration of harmonic rhythm, I find the sixteen-measure sentence more satisfactory. In addition, the interpretation
of this passage as a single sentence better reflects the stunning simplicity of the underlying phrase structure in this trio.

31

on the content of the last measure of the sentence, a melodic


arrival on G4 is implied; the upbeat gestures entrance in the
midst of a fifth-progression towards this strongly implied
goal solidifies the upbeats end-accented hypermetric identity.16 The fifth-progression within the upbeat gesture is thus
encompassed by the larger fifth-progression and is completed at the same point. These motivic parallelisms have a
particularly beautiful effect due to their placement in the
same register and the general prominence of B4 and A4 in the
measures immediately before and after the thematic return.
Nesting the upbeat gesture within a larger fifth-progression
delicately adjusts its musical effect; although it is clearly
leading towards a hyperdownbeat, it is slightly less disjunct
less obviously parentheticalthan elsewhere.
The Allegretto quasi Menuetto of Brahmss cello sonata,
op. 38 also has a hypermetrically weak extended upbeat, but
that upbeat is more integrated with the minuets underlying
hypermetric and tonal structures. Example 6 gives the score
of the first reprise. The hypermetric orientation at the beginning is made clear by the interaction between piano and
cello. The cellos melody opens with a quarter-note upbeat in
its most common pitch realization: a leap from 5 up to 1 . The
extended upbeat in the piano part is a preparation for the
cellos conventional beginning. The first reprise consists of a
single phrase (mm. 210) that is elaborated not only by the
extended upbeat but also by a post-cadential phrase expansion, or suffix. The suffix recalls the motive from the pianos
extended upbeat, a motive hinted at already by the cello in
m. 9. Each of these motivic recalls is situated in a hypermetrically weak measure. To achieve this hypermetric placement, the underlying phrase is nine measures long. With
16

It is important to understand that the root-position G-major chord


that supports the return of the upbeat gesture is not a structural tonic
arrival. This G-major chord is subsidiary to the dominant harmonies
on either side; it functions like a neighboring six-four chord, but the
bass moves. The melodic fifth-progression clarifies the harmonic
meaning of this G-major chord.

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

$

l l l l l l

%
1

5th progression

Thematic return

l l
l
l l l

l l l l l l


l l l l l l l l l l l l
2

example 5. Thematic return recomposed without upbeat gesture.

Allegretto quasi Menuetto

/
0
l

/0
\l
/
0


l l

l

3

l l l

l
\
l

dolce

hypermetric upbeat

l l l l
l

l l l

l
l


l
4

l l l

l l
l

l l l

l l

l l

l l

l l l l

hypermetrically weak recalls of m. 1

l l

l
l l

l l l
l

l l l l
\

phrase suffix facilitates reentry of hypermetric upbeat for written-out repeat of first reprise

l
2

l
l



l
l

l

l

l
4

(4)

example 6. Brahms, Cello Sonata op. 38, ii, 115: a gestural and hypermetric upbeat.

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l
\

l

hypermetric upbeat

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

/
0

/0
/0

l l l
l

l l

l l l


l
l l

l l l
l

l l

l l

l l

l
l l
l

l

l


2

33

hypermetrically strong

recall of upbeat gesture


l l l l l

l


l
3

l
l

l

example 7. Recomposition of mm. 210 as an eight-measure sentence.


their repetition of a two-measure thematic idea, mm. 25
suggest the beginning of an eight-measure sentence. Example 7 offers a hypothetical recomposition of mm. 210 as
an eight-measure sentence. The penultimate measure recalls
the extended upbeat motive, but in an eight-measure phrase
this recall occurs in a hypermetrically strong measure at the
two-measure level. An extra measure at the start of the second half of the phrase is necessary to incorporate the return
of the upbeat motive without altering its hypermetric context.
When the opening material returns, it is modified to
reach an authentic cadence, but it retains its original hypermetric organization. In Example 8, the hypermeter above
the score shows the relation of Brahmss music to the hypermeasures of an eight-measure sentence. The annotations
below the score show the surface hypermeter created through
expansions. The sentence first undergoes a one-measure expansion (made particularly clear by the near-repetition of m.
66), so that the upbeat gesture in m. 67 again falls in a weak
measure in the surface hypermeter. Brahms then avoids a
convincing close in m. 68, extending the phrase through repetitions of the cadence. These repetitions culminate in m. 74
with a return of the upbeat figure at its original pitch level.
This last iteration of the upbeat figure falls in a weak measure of the surface hypermeter, and its tonal meaning has

been clarified through the left-hand harmonization. As indicated by the reading of the underlying hypermeter, mm.
7174 are an expanded version of m. 67, the measure that referred to the upbeat motive. By slowing down the harmonies
of m. 67, Brahms reintroduces the upbeat motive in its original form, bringing the process of motivic development full
circle. Significantly, this recall is integrated into the surface
hypermeter (as a fourth hyperbeat).17
Unlike the previous Mozart examples, Brahmss movement makes the extended upbeat a central feature of both
the minuet and the trio. The relationship is particularly evident since the trios upbeat (Example 9) is a loose transposition of the minuets; 4 substitutes for the diatonic version.18
Hypermetrically, the trios upbeat functions like that in Mozart K. 575 by standing apart from the ongoing four-measure
17
18

This integration is slightly obscured by the hemiolas in mm. 7172 and


7374.
The motion between scale-degrees 65 in minor that is featured at the
start of the upbeats relates to the sonatas first movement. In the opening theme of the first movement, the cellos first melodic apex is on C,
and that C resolves directly to B. Even after the first movement shifts
to the major mode, the coda repeatedly reemphasizes the motion from
C natural to B (e.g., mm. 263, 264, 26566); in fact, the final three
pitches in the bass line are C, B, and E (mm. 27681).

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34

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

Surface
hypermeter
4

68

l
\l


\
l
1

l l l l

3
4)

expansion by repetition

l l
l
l
l
l

(3

l l l

l l

l l l

l l

3
expansion by chromaticized repetition

l
l
l
l l l l l l


l
l
l
l l


l
l l
1

l l


-


l
l
3

l
l l
- - l
l l

.
. . . .
l l l l l
\
l
l l
l l l

4
(=1

l l

l l

l
l l
- - \
l
l l
4

(3
m. 67 (= m. 69) expanded to four measures through harmonic embellishment
pizz.

l l l l l l l

l l l l
. .

l
\l
l

upbeat gesture from m. 1

l

l
l
l
- l
chords clarify tonal meaning

4)

777

777777

59

77777

Underlying
hypermeter

example 8. Brahms, Cello Sonata op. 38, ii, 5976: upbeat motive in weak measures of surface hypermeter.
hypermeter; Example 10 extracts Brahmss bass line and
gives hypermetric annotations.19 Unlike K. 575, subsequent
19

Repetition creates one-measure phrase expansions in mm. 8384 and


9495. These expansions, like the one in mm. 7174 of the minuet,
make use of hemiola. Although hemiola is quite frequent in Brahmss
music, these hemiolas have melodic figures that relate motivically to the
upbeat gesture. Further, in the minuet, the four beats of the upbeat gesture divide into two-beat units based on rhythmic differentiation; in the
trio, the upbeat consists of two-beat units separated by silence. It should
be noted that the hypermetric meaning of a hemiola depends on its

tonal content and on its context. In Brahmss trio, the hemiolas in mm.
10102 and 10506 do not expand a single hyperbeat in the underlying
hypermeter; the hemiolas are rhythmic dissonances against completely
periodic hypermeter. Willner 1991 considers the relationship of hemiolas to tonal rhythm, classifying hemiolas as cadential, expansion, or
contraction according to whether the pacing of tonal events is basically
unchanged, slowed down, or accelerated. Because Handels music generally does not have the hypermetric periodicity of late-eighteenthcentury music, Willner 1991 tracks changes in tonal pacing rather than
hypermeter, but one can extrapolate from Willners categories the impact on hypermeter when hypermeter is relevant.

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

/
0

76

arco

espress.

35

\
espress.
legato

/0

col Ped.
1

hypermetric upbeat

example 9. Brahms, Cello Sonata op. 38, ii, start of trio: tonal and hypermetric design of upbeat same as in minuet.

/ (
0

77

(V)

upbeat

93

4
2
1

6
5

V
3

4
3

upbeat

6
4


6
4

( (
1

I
4

6
5

III

upbeat

4
3

example 10. Hypermetric analysis showing subsequent extended upbeats at ends of hypermeasures.
returns of the upbeat gesture are more like expansions of
fourth hyperbeats rather than parentheses due to smooth
shifts from suffix to prefix function. An exceptional feature
of the trio is the reworking of the thematic material at the
tonal return, which is included in Example 11. F minor is

reasserted at m. 101 after three measures of dominant preparation, but the structural upper line is entirely reconceived.
As indicated in the voice-leading sketch in Example 12, the
pianos upper line no longer remains on 5; instead, the upbeat
motive is altered to accommodate a descent to 3 at the tonal

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

(3)
2
1

espress. cresc.
[
3
Urlinie:
(5 )
4






\ espress.

97

(hypermetric upbeat)

1
Tonal return

example 11. Brahms, Cello Sonata op. 38, ii, 97106: Urlinie descent within extended hypermetric upbeat.
return. The cello, which had doubled the pianos upper line
at the start of the trio, emphasizes 5 at the start of m. 101,
but in an inner voice; when the cello line rises to prominence
at m. 103 it too has reached 3. Thus, although the upbeat
gestures remain separate from the four-measure hypermeter,
their pitch content participates in the trios descent from its
Kopfton. There is thus a curious interplay between hypermetric and tonal value at the tonal return. Brahms, always aware
of and transcending historical precedent, has taken the extended upbeat of Haydn and Mozart and deployed it in a
new way.

to require constant reinterpretation of the hypermetric placement of the upbeat gesture or suspension of hypermeter.
Consider the trio of the third movement of Haydns
Symphony 53, given in Example 13. The pitch content of
the upbeat gesture in this trio is similar to that of the minuet
from Mozarts Dissonance quartet. In Mozarts minuet,
the following music quickly clarifies that the gestural upbeat
is not a hypermetric upbeat. In the trio of Haydns symphony, the phrase design is unusually symmetrical with the
upbeat gesture recurring every four measures. Thus, it is possible to interpret Haydns minuet in two ways: with hyperdownbeats at mm. 43, 47, 51, etc. or at mm. 44, 48, 52, etc.
In the former reading, the upbeat gesture begins a hypermeasure; in the latter it leads to a hyperdownbeat. The first
interpretation is somewhat more viable since it places the
phrase segments nearly in phase with the hypermeter, whereas
in the second interpretation each phrase begins several beats
before the strongest hypermetric accent.20 Certainly, group-

gestural and possibly hypermetric extended upbeats


In all of the preceding pieces, it has been clear whether
the extended upbeat gesture is hypermetrically accented or
unaccented. In many minuets, however, this is not the case.
In some minuets, the upbeat gesture seems as though it
could begin a hypermeasure or immediately precede a hyperdownbeat. The hypermetric identity of the upbeat gesture is
ambiguous, at least for a significant stretch of music. In other
minuets, there is sufficient irregularity in the phrase structure

20

Describing the relationship between grouping and metric structures as


in phase and out of phase comes from Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983,
30. Their second metric preference rule weakly favors metric structures

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
Measure: 77

82

First reprise

6
5

101 (=105)

6
4

( )

100

97

87

III

Second reprise

56

4
2

(transition)

111


6
3

4-prg.

104 (=108)

93

90

86

37

113

V7/A

example 12. Voice-leading sketch of trio.


ing and metric structures can be out of phase, but the normative relationship in the minuet is alignment between the
four-measure phrases and the four-measure hypermeter. In
addition to an out-of-phase relationship, placing strong metric accents at mm. 44, 46, 48, and 50 means that every arrival
on tonic harmony in the first reprise is hypermetrically
strong. Coordinating tonal and metric accents to this extent
gives the music a certain heaviness and inelegance, especially
since three of the four tonic arrivals emphasize 1 in the
melody. When the strong metric accents fall on mm. 43, 45,
that place strong beats at or soon after beginnings of groups. This is
implicit in Rothstein 1989, and is explicitly stated as the rule of congruence in Rothstein 1995, 173.

47, and 49, the hypermetric accents have more varied tonal
content. Notwithstanding the ultimate attractiveness of this
interpretation, the simplicity of the passage is such that either hypermeter could be inferred. Performance choices will
shape listener response; a performance that makes a slight
separation between the quarter-note A and the following G
and that marks the G with a stress accent will cue the G as
a hyperdownbeat. Particularly significant, too, is the temporal relationship between the minuet and trio. Since the minuet ends with a four-measure hypermeasure, beginning the
trio without delay and/or tempo modification also reinforces
the metric strength of the G .
A tiny, but exquisite, alteration at the start of the thematic
return exploits the special ambiguity of the trios opening. At

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

Solo flute (8va)

$42 Vln. I/Vln. II


/0

(

% 0

2
3
4
1
2
3
4
Va. (8va) 1
Vc. OR
Cb. (8vb) upbeat

Flute returns

$50 Flute tacet

mm. 5966 =
mm. 4350

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3

OR 4
(=1

2)

(
(

1 2 3 4 1 2 3

example 13. Haydn, Symphony No. 53, iii, trio: a gestural upbeat with two possible hypermetric interpretations.
the dominant arrival in m. 58, the melody does not stop to
allow a fresh articulation of the quarter-note A that one expects to launch the thematic return. This seamlessness in
m. 58 is highlighted by the passages orchestration. A solo
flute doubles the violins in a higher octave in the first reprise,
and after being silent at the start of the second reprise, the
flute returns at the downbeat of m. 58. It is as if the flutist
re-enters two beats early, and the melodic arrival on the
downbeat of m. 58 must therefore be sustained into the gestural upbeat that launches the thematic return. This lack of
re-articulation could bear on the hypermetric interpretation
of the thematic return. If one senses the entirety of m. 58 as
truly belonging both to the previous phrase and to the thematic return, it becomes possible to hear m. 58 as a fourth
hyperbeat that is expanded, a reading shown at the bottom
of Example 13. This possibility makes the two hypermetric

alternatives for the music of the first reprise more equally accessible when that music returns at the end of the second
reprise.
The minuet from Haydns string quartet, op. 71, no. 3 has
a similar, but slightly more complex, handling of hypermetric
ambiguity. The annotations on Example 14 suggest the possibility of hyperdownbeats either at mm. 1 and 5 or at mm. 2
and 6. As in the symphonic movement, reading A brings hypermeter and phrase structure in phase, and reading B coordinates hypermeter with more of the passages accents, such
as those of harmony, texture and duration. At m. 8 something unsettling happens, and this has an impact on the metric strength of mm. 9 and 10the measures that provide the
next hyperdownbeat in the two interpretations. The grouping
and motivic repetition in mm. 512 suggest an eight-measure
sentence. Yet Haydn avoids a sharp boundary between the

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

grouping structure in phase with reading A

/0
l l

/0
l l

/0
l l
/

l l
% 0
reading A:
1
reading B: hypermetric upbeat

(presentation)

l l
l l

2
1

3
2

4
3

1
4

grouping structure in phase with reading A

(
%

1
4

l l l l l l
l l l l l l

2
1


3
2

l l l

[_
l l
l l

[_

l l

l
[_
[_
[_

[_
[_
[_

l
l

2
1

3
2

4
3

1
4

2
1

(
(

3
2

4
3

l l

and durational accents reinforce reading A

$12
l l l l l l
(

new motive and


blurred grouping
boundary support
reading B
(continuation)

l l

l l l l
l l l
l l

l l l l
l

39

l l

l l
l l
l l
l l

4
3

1
4?

2
1?

3
2?

l l

l
l l l l l

l l
4
3?

1
4?

2
1?

example 14. Haydn, String Quartet op. 71, no. 3, iii, 147: a gestural upbeat with some hypermetric ambiguity.

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2?

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40

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)


(presentation)







%

24

(continuation)

l l l l

3
4
(readings converge)

1
2
3
4
1
2
Reading A confirmed by upbeat gestures (tonic!) harmonization and incorporation into a sentence design

mm. 3543 = mm. 2634



$35






[_



[_


[_

%
[_
2

registral peak and


accent provide
counterstress

D !

2
(1?

\\

\

\

3
2?

4
3?

1
4?

example 14. [continued]

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l l l l l
(

l l
l l (
l (

\
2
1?

3
2?

4
3?)

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
presentation (mm. 58) and continuation (mm. 912).21
Instead, the musical material in m. 8 is the same as that at
the start of the continuation. This makes m. 8 seem metrically stronger than it otherwise would be; the musical effect
is that the last measure of the presentation becomes the first
measure of the continuation. Such an overlap of grouping
function tends to suggest a shift from hypermetric weakness
to strength. Given the duple basis of the hypermeter, the
unexpected reinforcement of m. 8 lends metric strength to
m. 10, at the expense of m. 9. Thus, although the phrase
structure in mm. 14 reinforces mm. 1 and 5 as hyperdownbeats, the blurring of the internal divisions of the following
phrase promotes reading B. The competing understandings
of hypermeter in the first reprise of this minuet are more
nearly balanced than in the symphonic movement.
The second reprise begins with the extended upbeat gesture, which allows the ambiguity to continue, but during the
second reprise it becomes clear that the gestural upbeat is
not a hypermetric upbeat. This process begins in mm. 1720
as the upbeat gesture serves as counterpoint to a new melody
in the first violin that reinforces the metric strength of mm.
17 and 19 through durational accents and sequence. The
hypermetric identity of the upbeat gesture is solidified in
the passage that begins at m. 26. At m. 26, the upbeat gesture forms the basis of repeated two-measure units, and the
figure is harmonized. The harmonization lends particular
weight to the initial measure since Haydn accompanies that
measure with a first-inversion tonic harmony whereas the
following measure has a third-inversion dominant seventh
harmony. The harmonization of the upbeat gesture is especially effective because the implied harmony at the opening
was dominant harmony, as it was earlier in the second reprise
(see, for example, mm. 13 and 17).
Although the hypermetric orientation of the upbeat gesture is clear at m. 26, there is a vestige of ambiguity at the end
21

The terms presentation and continuation for the two halves of a sentence come from Caplin 1998, 3548.

41

of the reprise when a modified repeat of mm. 14 occurs. The


phrase that begins at m. 26 is a nine-measure sentence;
the continuation is expanded by one measure. In the presentation, the bass line moves once per measure, but at the start
of the continuation the bass line remains on G for an extra
measure. The tonic harmony is transformed into a dominant
of IV, and that transformation takes an extra measure. The
expansion serves the development of the opening motive.
The implication of the upbeat motive is a stepwise continuation; although F could serve as a logical alternative to D for
a goal pitch of the upbeat gesture, D is a more colorful
choice. The D requires resolution to C, and only an awkward acceleration in harmonic rhythm could place that C
sooner than the following downbeat. Thus, the continuation
spans five measures, but hypermetrically the first two measures
count as a single measure. In m. 35, the phrase from mm. 26
34 repeats. Taking the phrase expansion into account, the cadence completes a hypermeasure. This places the return of the
opening music at a hyperdownbeat. But mm. 3543 are not an
exact repeat of mm. 2634. Haydn marks m. 41 more strongly
than the corresponding measure in the previous phrase. The
first violin soars to its highest pitch in the movement, and
the C6 also receives a dynamic accent. In the underlying hypermeter, m. 41 is the second hyperbeat in a four-measure
hypermeasure, but it receives an undue amount of phenomenal emphasis. This counterstress subtly questions the metric
accent of m. 42. Due to the duple basis of the minuets hypermeter, the emphasis at m. 41 resonates with the downbeat
of m. 43. This subtle reinforcement of m. 41 and thus m. 43
slightly undercuts the hyperdownbeat at m. 44, the location
where the material from the minuets opening returns. This
interplay of main and shadow hypermeters at the end of the
second reprise is not unlike what happened five bars before
the end of the first reprise. In both cases an unexpected event
temporarily supports the hypermeter that makes the gestural
upbeat into a hypermetric upbeat.
In both the trio from Symphony 53 and the minuet from
op. 71, no. 3, the hypermetric placement of the upbeat gesture

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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

is open to two interpretations, but there is little sense of conflict. In some minuets, irregular group lengths challenge the
establishment of hypermeter and require frequent metric
reinterpretations; two examples are the minuets from Haydns
string quartets op. 76, no. 3 and op. 71, no. 2. In op. 76, no. 3
the hypermetric conflict eventually finds some resolution,
whereas in op. 71, no. 2 it does not.
As seen at the outset of this essay, the minuet from op. 76,
no. 3 begins with a gestural upbeat that is also a hypermetric
upbeat. Example 15 provides the score to the first reprise in
its entirety. The root-position tonic harmony, the half-note
in the melody, and the integrity of mm. 25 as a unit solidify
the hypermetric primacy of m. 2. The upbeat gesture returns
to start the second phrase, and one would expect the upbeat
would stand apart from the main hypermeter of the minuet,
as was the case in Mozarts K. 575. In the present minuet,
this is not a viable possibility as the following measure is not
marked as a beginning. The upbeat gesture in m. 6 must be
heard as hypermetrically strong, at least in relation to m. 7.
Thus, the upbeat gestures in mm. 1 and 6 have different
hypermetric identities.
By the end of the first reprise, the music settles into fourmeasure groups that are also hypermeasures (mm. 1316 and
1720). The crucial phrase in this progression from hypermetric conflict to resolution is the one between mm. 6 and
12. This is a seven-measure phrase, and this hypermetrically
irregular length may be understood in two different, but not
dissimilar, ways. Since mm. 612 follow a four-measure antecedent phrase (mm. 25), one prototype is a four-measure
(modulating) consequent phrase like the recomposition in
Example 16(a). The recomposition implies that the second
tonicization of A minor and the lofty ascent of the first violin are elements of the expansion; this corresponds to hypermetric reading A in Example 15. Yet, the seven-measure
phrase may also be understood as a condensation of two
four-measure hypermeasures, as in the recomposition of
Example 16(b). Pivotal in this interpretation is m. 9. Measure 9 is expected to complete a hypermeasure, but this mea-

sure instead initiates a cohesive four-measure unit; this


grouping elision causes the hypermetric reinterpretation at
m. 9 shown in reading B in Example 15. Both readings complete a hypermeasure at m. 12, which prepares the hypermetric consonance of mm. 1320. Reading B, though, perhaps
more vividly embodies the expressive effect of these measures. The melodic content of the first violin in m. 9 is based
on a transposition of the upbeat gesture to the key of the
dominant. The upbeat motive is thereby integrated into the
crucial hypermetric reinterpretation that sets up the periodic
completion of the first reprise. Coordinating the return of
the upbeat motive in m. 9 with a hypermetric reinterpretation is congruent with the passages rhetorical effect: the
music finds its way after losing direction in the repetitions of
mm. 7 and 8.
The hypermetric discussion in the previous paragraph
does not mention a maximally periodic hearing of the first
reprise. The first reprise consists of twenty measures, and if
one were to consider m. 1 as a hyperdownbeat, there would
be no need for a hypermetric reinterpretation at m. 9, but
such a reading would still give the upbeat gestures in mm. 1
and 6 different hypermetric identities. Most importantly, a
maximally periodic interpretation of the first reprise ignores
the multiple phenomenal accents that cue m. 2 as a hyperdownbeat as well as the special quality of coalescence at m. 9.
It would artificially mask, rather than reveal, the implications
of this minuets unusually long upbeat and the interplay
between the hypermetric identity of that upbeat gesture,
phenomenal accents, and phrase lengths. In addition, a maximally periodic interpretation of the hypermeter would oppose the expressive content of the music. The progression
from hypermetric dissonance to consonance in my reading
correlates with the change from a cantilena style in mm. 112
to a lower style in the final eight measures of the reprise.
The thematic return in the second reprise largely follows
the course of the first reprise, except for the phrase corresponding to mm. 612. The seven-measure phrase becomes
an eleven-measure phrase (mm. 3848; see Example 17).

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

upbeat gestures in m. 1 and m. 6 have different hypermetric status

/0
[
/
0

/0

/
% 0
$11

l
[
l
[l

l
l
l

hypermetric upbeat 1

l l l
4
4

l l
l
l
2

l
l

l
l l
l

l l

hypermetric resolution

l
l
l

l
l
l

l
l
l

1
(readings converge)

l l l l
l l l l

l
l l l

l l

reading A: 1
reading B: 1


l
l
l

l
l

l
l

l l
cf. m. 1 (and m. 6)

2
2

l
l

43

l
l

3
3

4=1

(
4

example 15. Haydn, String Quartet op. 76, no. 3, iii, 120: a gestural upbeat with changing hypermetric identity.
The new material comes at the start of the phrase and consists of a four-measure unit that subdivides into two-measure
units. Thus, this sharply defined four-measure group follows
the return of the music from mm. 25. As a result, the new
material supports hearing m. 2 (and the corresponding m. 34)
as a hyperdownbeat. Yet, the new material in mm. 3841 begins with the upbeat gesture from m. 1; thus, mm. 38 and 40
present the upbeat motive as hypermetrically accented, requiring that this gesture have a different hypermetric func-

tion than it did at the start of the thematic return (and at the
start of the minuet). After m. 41, the thematic return follows
the path of the first reprise with the material transposed into
C major, ending the minuet with hypermetric consonance.
In the minuet of op. 76, no. 3, the upbeat gesture has
changing hypermetric identities, and this problem emerges
within the movements first two phrases. This hypermetric
dissonance is convincingly resolved at the end of each reprise
through symmetrical phrase divisions. In the minuet from

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44

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)


l l l l
l
l l
l l
l
l l l l
%

(a)

l
$



l
l

l
l l
l
l

l
%

l l

l
l l

l
l

(b)

example 16. Recomposition of mm. 612 as a four-measure phrase and an eight-measure phrase.
Haydns string quartet op. 71, no. 2 there is no clarification
of the hypermeter or the upbeats hypermetric role. The
minuets first reprise consists of two five-measure phrases,
each of which begins with an upbeat gesture. Example 18
shows two hypermetric readings. One interpretation places
hyperdownbeats at mm. 3 and 7. The phenomenal accents at
m. 3 combined with the motivic repetition within mm. 12
and 34 support this reading. The end of the first phrase
challenges this interpretation. The half cadence that ends the
first phrase does not end the hypermeasure. Instead, the hypermeasure concludes with the upbeat to the second phrase.
It is very difficult to hear the tonal interruption at the half
cadence and a continuation of the hypermeasure into the
start of the following phrase. Reading B situates hyperdownbeats at mm. 2 and 7. In this reading the half cadence does
coincide with the end of a hypermeasure, but m. 2 initially
presents as an unlikely point for the minuets first hyperdownbeat. Although short and tonally simple, the first
reprise of this minuet presents a pair of phrases with intractable irregularities. Due to the expectation of duple hypermetric structure in the minuet, though, it would be less

valuable to observe five-measure phrases, declare the minuet


irregular, and not probe the elements that promote or deny
duple hypermeters, however vestigial they may be.
The thematic return does little to normalize the hypermetric structure. Since the first reprise did not modulate to
the dominant, the thematic return invites minimal revision.
Haydn repeats mm. 210 with few changes, though like the
trio from Symphony 53 there is a tiny but important alteration right at the start of the thematic return. The music
corresponding to m. 1 does not recur. Hearing the return
which corresponds to m. 2as a hyperdownbeat is promoted
not only by the structural accent of thematic return but also
by a variation in the recapitulated music. Instead of only a
single note in the cello, the thematic return accompanies the
first violins melody with a chord in the other three instruments. Thus, whereas m. 2 was not marked as a hyperdownbeat, there are factors reinforcing the corresponding m. 20.
Reading B is considerably more accessible for the first phrase
of the thematic return than it was at the start of the minuet.
Although this hearing places the half cadence at the end of a
hypermeasure, it still, of course, requires hearing the gestural

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

$32

l l
[

l l
[l l

[
hypermetric upbeat 1

$41

l l

l l
l l

new 4-measure group in phase with hypermeter; based on pitches


from upbeat in m. 33 (and m. 1), but upbeat gestural quality reduced

l l
3


4=1

l l

l l l

45

l l l

mm. 4956 =

mm. 1320 in

C major

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

example 17. Haydn, String Quartet op. 76, no. 3, iii, thematic return.
upbeat to the consequent phrase as lying outside of the main
hypermeter; in other words, the motivically similar mm. 20
and 24 have different hypermetric identities. Notably, Haydn
follows this hypermetrically complex minuet with a trio that
has unusually clear four-measure groups throughout.
The three categories considered thus far encapsulate most
minuets that begin with extended gestural upbeats. I will
now turn to two relatively rare configurations that involve
radical reinterpretation of opening material.

gestural extended upbeats become hypermetric


upbeats
The minuet from Haydns string quartet op. 50, no. 5 begins with an upbeat gesture that is hypermetrically strong,
but later turns into a hypermetric upbeat. In this rather exceptional movement, both the minuet and trio employ the
same upbeat gesture; since the trio is in the parallel minor,
the thematic relationship is unusually explicit.

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46

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)


phrase boundary supports reading B
motivic repetition supports reading A

$
/0

/0
/0

/ l
0 l
[
reading A: upbeat

reading B: upbeat

$
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\
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%


l

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11

1
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chord
added

$20
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l

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l

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l
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upbeat
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2

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l

. (
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.
l
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upbeat

HC

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4
upbeat

3
3

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HC
6
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example 18. Haydn, String Quartet op. 71, no. 2, iii, 128: a gestural upbeat that leads to competing hypermetric interpretations.

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Page 47

extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
The minuets first reprise consists of eight measures that
divide into two hypermeasures (see Example 19). Although
durational and dynamic accents mark m. 3, the expanded
DC motion of mm. 34 is an echo of the essential pitch motion of m. 1, clarifying the hypermetric priority of m. 1 over
m. 3. The harmonic content of the first four measures is atypical; not only do these measures suggest a single harmony, but
that harmony is a dominant-seventh chord. The fourth measure is not a half cadence in the home keyas one often
finds in the fourth measure of a moderately paced minuet
but a tonal preparation for the initiating tonic harmony of
m. 5. The surface hypermeter is unambiguous in mm. 18:
there are two four-measure hypermeasures, even if m. 5 is a
bit more convincing as a hyperdownbeat than is m. 1.
Haydn seizes on the unusual harmonic content of mm.
14 at the thematic return. The second reprise begins with
two four-measure hypermeasures, the latter one concluding
with the dominant arrival at m. 16. The first violin moves up
to C, as if to return to the opening but in a higher register.
Instead, there follows a lengthy extension of dominant harmony; this extension ends in mm. 2427 with a return of the
melody from mm. 14. Measure 28, which corresponds to
m. 5, brings a return of tonic harmony and a hyperdownbeat.
In the surface hypermeter, the return of the opening four
measures is aligned with the hypermeter, although a hypermetric reinterpretation is involved. This surface hypermeter,
however, is entirely different in quality from the hypermeter
of mm. 14. The downbeat of m. 1 had similar metric
strength to the downbeat of m. 5, but this is not the case with
the downbeats of mm. 24 and 28. Measure 24 has a fraction
of the metric strength of m. 28. Measure 24 is undercut not
only by its position at the end of a long tonal extension but
also by the new accompanying lines in the second violin and
viola. In m. 24 these accompanying lines imply a 46 chord (the
actual sonority on the last beat is 68). There have already been
several 46 chords in the dominant extension of the previous
measures, and the 46 of m. 24 comes across as but another
neighbor motion in the upper voices.

47

After the minuets structural close in F major, the upbeat


figure makes one last appearance. At m. 34, the first violins
repetition of the opening motive falls on a hyperdownbeat,
but it has a different rhetorical effect than m. 1. The upbeat
gesture in m. 34 initiates a codetta that comes after a conclusive cadence, one that was rhetorically strengthened by the
first violins ascent in mm. 3031 and the slowing of the
harmonic progression in mm. 2831. As the recomposition
in Example 20 suggests, mm. 2833 expand a four-measure
phrase. The temporal expansion and the soaring ascent do
not reduce the metric strength of the hyperdownbeat at the
start of the next phrase, but they do sharpen the redefinition
of formal function between m. 34 and m. 1. The upbeat gesture, while regaining its original hypermetric identity, is
not entirely restored to its initial stature. Despite its postcadential function, the minuets last statement of the upbeat
gesture undergoes a significant and unexpected development. Instead of projecting a single harmony, the gesture is
altered to traverse the circle of fifths. As is typical for the
descending-fifths sequence, there is a melodic sequence by
descending step; the model spans two beats. Within mm.
3437, the two-beat length of the sequential unit does not
challenge the 43 meter, but the situation changes in the minuets last four measures: the chords in mm. 3840 imply a
shift into 42 meter. The end of the minuet is heard either as a
series of violent syncopations against 43 meter or as a shift
into a metrically dissonant 42. Although this metric dissonance evolves directly through motivic development of the
upbeat motive, it comes off as a witticism not particularly expected in a moderately paced minuet.
The trio returns to the original version of the upbeat, but
shifted into the parallel minor (see Example 21). The trio
seems to revert to the hypermetric structure of the minuets
opening. The third measure bears a durational and dynamic
stress, the third and fourth measures repeat the D C motion of the trios first measure, and there is a significant tonal
arrival in the fifth measure. The trio, though, has significant
differences. During its initial four measures, the trio moves

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Page 48

48

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

D - C
D
00l l

0


\
ll ll
[

/


0
l l

Allegretto

Tonal

accent
0l
0l
00l

ll
ll ][
ll ll
ll

l
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l
4

l
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00 0 0




l
l
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31


l l


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11
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l
3
4 l

(surface: 1

l=mm. 14 l

cresc.
[
l


4=1

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l
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ll
\

( (
l
4 l1

l
00l 00

l l


10


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cresc.
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Duple grouping dissonance becomes progessively stronger

2?

3??

example 19. Haydn, String Quartet op. 50, no. 5, iii, 141: a gestural upbeat that becomes a hypermetric upbeat.

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l
(
(

l 4???

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Page 49

extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure

00


ll ll
ll
ll

l
l l
1
2

00
/0
/
0

49

00

11

l
l
3
4

example 20. Recomposition of mm. 2833 as a four-measure phrase.

= F minor version of minuet opening

l
l
/0 11

l
l
/ 11
0

41

= A major version begins

l l

tonal
accent

3?
1

asymmetrical division of 8-measure phrase

l
l

l l

example 21. Haydn, String Quartet op. 50, no. 5, iii, 4155.
from the dominant of F minor to that of A major, which
gives the third and fourth measures a more active quality
than the corresponding measures in the minuet. The emphasized fifth measure plays a different role in the phrase structure. In the minuet, the fifth measure initiates a four-measure
phrase that leads to a cadence. In the trio, the fifth measure
becomes a preparation for the phrase that gets underway in
the trios seventh measure. At m. 48, the upbeat motive begins on 6 in A major and initiates an eight-measure phrase.
Thus, m. 48 has hypermetric priority over m. 46; m. 46 is
initially a hyperdownbeat at the four-measure level, but m.
48 acquires that status. The first reprise of the trio strains
against periodic four-measure hypermeter; in addition to this

reinterpretation of m. 46, the eight-measure phrase in mm.


4855 is not subdivided into two four-measure units. Instead, the motivic repetition between mm. 51 and 52 subtly
challenges the hyperdownbeat of m. 52.
The trios second reprise initially avoids hypermetric conflicts, beginning with three four-measure hypermeasures. In
fact, the second hypermeasure (mm. 6063) consists of a
development of the upbeat gesture that leads to a conclusive
cadence in the subdominant on the fourth hyperbeat. The
twelfth measure of the second reprise (m. 67) contains the
arrival of the home dominant, which is shown at the start of
Example 22. Unlike the minuet, this dominant is not extended. The tonal return occurs in m. 68, and thus the music

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Page 50

50

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

l
67

00

l
4 l

expanded version of mm. 912

1
[OR 1

l
l


l
l

77

2
2

l
00

.

.

[_

3
4

l

l
l

l

l

l
l

l
11

1
]
OR 2

3???

4???

OR 4

6
4

example 22. Haydn, String Quartet op. 50, no. 5, iii, 6781.
cannot incorporate the dominant-prolonging upbeat gesture
at this juncture. No musical material closely connected to
the trios first reprise sounds; the tonal return is accompanied
by material from the start of the minuets second reprise!
The upbeat gesture comes back only at m. 76, after the trios
structural close. Unlike the return in the minuets codetta,
the return in the trios codetta continues the movements
hypermetric conflicts.
Understanding the hypermetric context of the upbeats
return requires a closer look at mm. 6875. Measures 6875
are based on mm. 916 of the minuet (Examples 22 and 19).
Measures 6875 have a length of eight measures, but they do
not have the effect of two four-measure hypermeasures. As
the model of mm. 912 makes clear, it takes the phrase that

begins in m. 68 an extra measure to reach the arrival on the


subdominant. Throughout the movement, arrivals on long
melodic pitches have occurred on third hyperbeats, but the
violin only gets to E at m. 71, the fourth measure of the
phrase. Even without the intraopus evidence of a onemeasure phrase expansion, it would be difficult to assert a
hyperdownbeat at the fifth measure of this phrase since there
is no change of harmony.22 To what measure is the hyper22

The presence of a prototype earlier in the piece affects the location of


the expansion within the five-bar phrase. Compared to the prototype of
mm. 912, mm. 6872 have an expanded second hyperbeat. Without
this context, the fourth hyperbeat would be considered as the expanded
hyperbeat.

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure
downbeat deferred? Initially, m. 73 presents as a hyperdownbeat; it is the next available downbeat, and it is prepared by
the turn figure that precedes most of the movements hyperdownbeats. This interpretation, however, places the cadential
arrival at m. 75 on a third hyperbeat; cadential arrivals
throughout the movement consistently fall on fourth hyperbeats. The motivic similarity of the cadential approach
to earlier onesespecially those in mm. 32 and 54do not
suggest a change in the hypermetric placement of the
cadence in mm. 7475. This means that the first violins
melody in m. 73 leads to a stronger metric accent in m. 74;
the two possibilities are shown on Example 22.
The reading at the bottom of Example 22 takes m. 74 as a
hyperdownbeat, but m. 74 presents the dominant harmony
of an authentic cadence, a function associated in this movement (and in general) with third hyperbeats rather than
hyperdownbeats. In a view of hypermeter that rests more
on equivalence classes rather than periodicity, the expected
hyperdownbeat is suppressed rather than deferred; m. 74 is
a third hyperbeat.23 In an experience of hypermeter that
comes mainly from periodicity, m. 74 is stronger than a third
hyperbeat since a hyperdownbeat is overdue (the last one was
m. 68). In short, there is a hypermetric ambiguity at m. 74
that was not present earlier in the movement. Since another
restatement of the upbeat gesture starts the trios nextand
finalphrase, this hypermetric ambiguity carries over into
the upbeat gesture. Thus, it raises the possibility of hearing
the upbeat gesture in mm. 7677 as leading towards a final
four-measure hypermeasure, a structure that had not arisen
previously (except perhaps in a highly retrospective hearing
of the first six measures of the trio).
Unlike the minuets in the third category, the minuet from
op. 50, no. 5 begins without the suggestion of multiple hypermetric interpretations. The upbeat is initially a gestural
upbeat but not a hypermetric one. At three points in the
movementthe thematic return in the minuet, the start of
23

This usage of equivalence class comes from Benjamin 1984, 375.

51

the trio, and the codetta in the triothe upbeats hypermetric meaning changes, or at least becomes open to an alternate
interpretation. The last category of minuet I will consider
also involves reinterpretation, but a reinterpretation that is
both hypermetric and gestural.
non-upbeat gestures become hypermetric
extended upbeats
The minuet from Haydns string quartet op. 64, no. 2
opens with a quarter-note upbeat in its most typical pitch
configuration: a motion from 5 to 1 (see Example 23). This 1
is supported by tonic harmony, originally in first inversion
but in root position by the end of the measure. Although
minuets that open with tonic harmony generally begin with
a root-position sonority, the presence of a first-inversion
sonority on the downbeat is not particularly unusual. Within
Haydns string quartets, the minuets of op. 42 and op. 33,
no. 3 also begin with first-inversion tonic sonorities, and in
both cases the first measure is a hyperdownbeat. This initially seems to be the case in op. 64, no. 2 as well since the
second measure moves to supertonic harmony, an unstable
diminished triad. Subsequent events precipitate a reversal of
the hypermetric strengths of the opening two measures. The
motivic material of m. 2 repeats in m. 3, providing the first
indication that m. 2 may be hypermetrically stronger than
m. 3. Then, the phrases cadence arrives in the fifth measure.
At this point, reinterpreting the hypermetric identity of m. 1
is not likely; the five-measure phrase is better understood as
an expanded four-measure phrase with the expansion resulting from the literal repetition in m. 3. This interpretation is
not, however, consistent with events in the second phrase.
The second phrase begins directly with the musical content
of mm. 2 and 3, with the cello adding an A beneath the
other parts to turn the diminished triad into the dominant
seventh chord of the relative major. The return of mm. 2 and
3 at the start of the second phrase suggests that the minuets
first measure was an extended upbeat.

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52

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

/0 l
\
/
0

l
l

l
l

initially: 1
later: upbeat

l
3
l
[_
[_l
2

4=1

l l

ll l
l l l


l

l l l l l
l [_l l l l [_l l l l
l [_l l l l [_l l l l
2 2 2 2 2

l l l l

l l l l l
l
l
l
\
l l
l
l l
l
l l
l l
l
l

[

l l l l l
l
l
2
1

l
l

l
2

3
3

l
3

l
l
[
l
l
23
l
l
(1

l l l l l l



l
l l l
l l l l l l




l l l
l l l
2)

l
l

l
3

4
4

1(!)
1

(
l
l
(
l

l
l

l
l

l
3

l l l l

l
l

example 23. Haydn, String Quartet op. 64, no. 2, iii, 114: reinterpretation of a harmonized melody as a gestural upbeat.
The thematic return in the second reprise reenacts the
same hypermetric reinterpretation as the minuets first phrase.
The start of the second reprise strongly projects two-measure
hypermeter, and in this context the return of the minuets
opening measure at m. 27 is hypermetrically strong, as
shown in reading A in Example 24. Yet, the thematic repetition in the phrases second and third measures promotes
a retrospective reinterpretation of the hypermetric status of
m. 27, as contained in readings B and C. The thematic return, however, does not reach a cadence in the fifth measure;
instead a cadence only arrives after sixteen measures. This
expanded phrase is marked by an abrupt suspension of tonal
motion at the diminished seventh chord of m. 33. After the
hiatus, the phrase resumes with eight measures of music that
project two- and four-measure hypermeter, but the hypermeter before the hiatus is open to multiple interpretations.

Reading A is unlikely; it maintains periodic hypermeter


despite the opposing forces in mm. 2734. Readings B and
C are relatively similar. Four-measure hypermeter is preserved throughout reading B by a reinterpretation at the deceptive progression. In reading C the proliferation of the
melodic idea from m. 30 is understood as expanding a single
hypermeasure; the hiatus in m. 34 functions as a fermata
rather than as a hyperbeat. Reading C more closely models
my experience of the passage than does reading B, but in
either analysis the start of the phrase maintains the same
hypermetric identity as at the minuets opening.
The trio of op. 64, no. 2 shifts to the parallel major and to
metric consonance (Example 25). The first reprise and the
thematic return present eight-measure units that subdivide
into four-measure lengths; the material in the second reprise
before the thematic return consists of a mere four-measure

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extended upbeats in the classical minuet: interactions with hypermeter and phrase structure


l
l

3
l l l

24

l
l


l
l
l
l

3
l l l l l reading A:



4
4

l
l

l
l

l
l

[_l
2
l
l

1
reading B: upbeat
reading C: upbeat

34

=mm. 14

l 2 l l l l 2 l l
\
l
l
l

l
l
l
1
1 (readings
1 converge)

l l
l

l l l

l
l

[_l
2
l
l

l l l

l
l

4
3
3

3
2
2

2
1
1

l l l l l l
l l l l l l

3 3
l l l l
l l l l
l
l cresc. l
l

l
l
l
l
3

l l l l l
2


l
[
l

l l l l l l

3
l l l l
l
[l

l
l
1

53

l l l
l l
2

l
l

l l l
l l l
2


l l
l l


l l

l l l l l l


ll
ll

l
l

l l l l l l


ll
ll

l
l

but phrase expanded (to m. 42)

1
4=1
4

2
2
5

3
3
6

l
(

ll

(
l
4

example 24. Haydn, String Quartet op. 64, no. 2, iii, 2442: thematic return.

cf. minuet: F B[C ]D C


dolce

/
0

/
0

1
2
3
4
1
cf. harmonic progression in mm. 15 of minuet

( (
][


( (
3

dolce

example 25. Haydn, String Quartet op. 64, no. 2, iii, trio: hypermetric resolution amid tonal links to minuet.

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54

Page 54

music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

prolongation of the dominant. The tonal and metric contrasts


of the trio occur in the presence of a subtle motivic connection between the minuet and trio. In the trio, the first
violins melody begins with the same scale degrees as in the
minuet, except the passing tone in the first measure is omitted. The higher register, legato articulation, and mode shift
weaken this connection, but the harmonic progression reinforces the relationship. As in the minuet, the trio moves to
supertonic harmony and then immediately to a root-position
dominant-to-tonic progression. In the trio, this progression
spans four measures and begins from a root-position tonic
harmony. Thus, the hypermetric stability of the trio references the minuets motivic material, as if to demonstrate the
type of consonant state with which the minuet could have
started.
conclusion
This article has explored minuets with extended upbeat
gestures and documented several different ways these gestures interact with hypermeter. In pursuing these interactions, I have emphasized context. The study has focused on
the implications of the opening material for each minuet,
and often on relevant connections with the trio. Rhythmicmetric structure, like tonal structure, largely accrues meaning
through variation and development. The analyses suggest
the centrality of rhythm and meter to each movement; in all
of the movements considered, these domains are pivotal for a
productive engagement with the musics compositional logic
and expressive effects.
The analyses in this study advance perspectives on current
theoretical debates on the nature of hypermeter. My use of
hypermetric numbers and the continual reference to a fourmeasure hypermetric level may give the impression of a
rigid, grid-based conception of hypermeter, but this is not
the case. The hypermetric analyses are sensitive to changing
perceptions as the music unfolds; several examples provide
an initial reading that is subsequently reevaluated. In other

compositions, multiple hypermetric readings are proposed.


In these cases, the multiplicity of plausible readings is a significant factor in the music, even though any single performance (or mental rehearsing) will favor one hypermetric
reading. A passage with some conflicting hypermetric cues
has a different effect than a stretch of music where tonal,
structural, and phenomenal accents are fully coordinated
with the hypermeter. The prose descriptions that accompany
the annotated scores access this qualitative aspect of hypermeter. With their emphasis on gradations of hypermetric
strength, the analyses suggest that the inference of hypermeter arises not only through a process of temporal measurement, particularly in the aftermath of strongly conflicting
cues. Accurately perceiving and reproducing timespans is a
survival benefit, as writings such as Hasty 1997 and London
2004 emphasize, but in a musical composition much information is available to shape hypermetric response. Individual
beats and hyperbeats are differentiated not only by their
position within the metric hierarchy, but also by the type of
musical events with which they coincide. When the established meter or hypermeter is disrupted, the nature of the
musical events immediately after the disruption can imply
the hypermetric identity of these events, although subsequent music may, of course, lead to a hypermetric adjustment. This flexible approach to hypermeter reveals the richness of rhythmic-metric design in the Classical minuet and
offers interpretive gains for performers, listeners, and scholars who attend to hypermetric nuances in tonal music.
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music theory spectrum 28 (2006)

Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 28, Issue 1, pp. 2356, ISSN 0195-6167,
electronic ISSN 1533-8339. 2006 by The Society for Music Theory.
All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California
Presss Rights and Permissions website, at http://www.ucpress.edu/
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