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Taking academic expertise stateside

stephenwalshProfessor Stephen Walsh will have a busy itinerary later this month when he embarks on a lecture tour of East Coast campuses in the United States.

He will be teaching classes, giving papers, and delivering public lectures in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Maine. Institutions visited will include Williams College, Bard College, Bowdoin College, Amherst College, and Juilliard.

One his North Carolina stop, Professsor Walsh will be delivering an invited paper, ‘Dyanisos monometrikos’, at Reassessing the Rite, an international conference celebrating the centenary of the Paris premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

A full list of Professor Walsh’s engagements can be found on our Research Activities webpage.

 

‘Dyanisos monometrikos’ - Abstract
The idea of the single-beat metric unit, which underlies the experimental rhythms of The Rite of Spring, is one of a number of techniques in that ballet that originate in the work of his kuchka predecessors. It can notably be traced back to, or at least compared with, the speech melody in certain vocal works of Musorgsky. Stravinsky seems to have identified it subsequently as an aspect of The Rite that was worth exploring further, and “monometrics”, as he called the technique, figure in sketches of the Swiss years and characterize much of the music of that period. Stravinsky adapted the idea to a concept of metric modulation in major works of the neoclassical period, most notably Oedipus Rex, in which proportional metronome markings control whole scenes through series of complex changes of tempo. These proportions are seldom if ever observed in performance (including by the composer himself), but their existence in the score shows that, at least when composing, he was a true inheritor of the typically Russian love of formulaic background structures.