Perception and performance of aksak metres
Moelants, D. (2006). Perception and performance of aksak metres. Musicae Scientiae, 10(2), 47-172.
In this paper different aspects of the fast odd metres found in the Balkan (aksak) are studied. Comparing their temporal characteristics with thresholds of rhythm perception, it is shown that the basic regular unit is too fast to serve as the pulse. Thus the pulse moves to the (unequal) units of 2, 3 or 4 beats. This gives aksak metres a special position within an overall typology of asymmetric metre. Two sets of data will be analysed to give more details on the actual timing in performance: a set of traditional Bulgarian tunes and performances of Bartók piano pieces by four different players. Despite the similarity of global tempo and metre, differences in the treatment of tempo were found between both sets, which can be explained by the different performance contexts. In both sets, specific patterns of metric microstructure were found that can give us more information about the actual metric interpretation and clear effects of the musical structure on both the tempo and the metric microstructure are shown. All together, it seems that aksak metres are closer to regular metres than commonly thought. ...