Cassidy, Aaron (2015) Imagining a Non-Geometrical Rhythm. In: Imagining a Non-Geometrical Rhythm — Inaugural Professorial Lecture, 23rd March 2015, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Rhythm in Western music—particularly in notated music—operates under two basic and fundamental principles: subdivision and proportion. Notions of speed, duration, and pulse are all dependent upon secondary, fixed reference points, a Euclidean grid sitting explicitly or implicitly behind the rhythms of the sounds we hear on the surface. In short, it is a rhythm that is always about counting. This lecture explores a rhythm that eschews counting, that engages with speed and duration as primary rather than secondary phenomena, and that emerges through the interface between movement and resistance and from models of force, viscosity, and friction. We will examine some of the limitations of existing rhythmic notation and, using examples from a current composition project entitled 'The Wreck of Former Boundaries' as well as several case studies from non-notated musical traditions, a few alternatives for ‘non-geometrical’ notational approaches will be proposed.

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