“Rhythmic Tessitura” and “Tempo Transposition” of the Rhythm


The paper deals with scores and transcriptions of music of the 16th–20th centuries. The main concept is that evolutionary stages of rhythm and tempo lie behind the labile appearance of notation: the quantitative rhythmic system of Middle Ages and Renaissance, the transition to “measure” (accented) rhythmic system in Baroque era and mature “measure” system known for a flexible scale of tempos-velocities in Classical era. Several peculiarities of the rhythmic notation can be better apprehended via new notions introduced here. The notion of “tempo transposition” of rhythm (music recorded by means of the durational values which are changed “proportionally”) is treated in the article as the turning point of creative process and as the compositional technique which intentionally changed the “rhythmic tessitura” of polyphonic music.