Machine-Time, Passion-Time, and Time that Trembles: Debussy and Baudelaire

  • Stephen Brown
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 61)


There is no escaping time in music; music enforces its own time. You have no choice, unless it is to walk away — as long as you listen you are in the music’s time. Even as a performer, your liberty is limited. You’re not like an actor who can introduce pregnant pauses and changes in tempi at will. Music has an internal clock which cannot be ignored.


Tonal Function Walk Away Tonal Music Tonal Center Musical Language 
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    Musicologists tend to emphasize analysis of harmony over all other aspects of music (this is reflected in musical education as well); rhythm is the least popular element to discuss. Charles Rosen’s The Classical Style, generally viewed as the best work on the subject, treats the Alberti bass as follows: “This accompaniment blurs the independence both of the three contrapuntal voices which it theoretically contains and of the chordal or homophonic harmony which it supposedly illustrates. It breaks down the isolation of the voices by integrating them into one line, and of the chords by integrating them into a continuous movement” (New York: W. W. Norton, 1972), p. 29.Google Scholar
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

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  • Stephen Brown

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