In his 1837 article 'Strauss: His Orchestra, His Waltzes-the Future of Rhythm', Berlioz advocates treating rhythm as an independent dimension just as fundamental to music as melody and harmony. He observes that 'the combinations in the realm of rhythm must certainly be as numerous as melodic ones, and the links between them could be made as interesting as for melody. Nothing can be more obvious than that there are rhythmic dissonances, rhythmic consonances, and rhythmic modulations.' The true pioneers in the field of rhythm, he continues, are Beethoven and Weber-and Johann Strauss Sr. I continue Berlioz's line of thought by examining the use of two-beat melodic grouping patterns within a notated 3/4 metre by Strauss and his near-contemporary, Joseph Lanner, to create rhythmic dissonances, which often (but not necessarily) take the form of melodic hemiola, metrical modulation, and extended anacrusis. My article concludes with some general considerations on the expressive, formal and choreographical implications of metrical dissonance as it relates to the dancers on the Viennese ballroom floor.
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