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Authors: Brown, Ryan
Advisors: Tymoczko, Dmitri
Mackey, Steven
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Battles
math rock
metrical dissonance
rock and roll
Subjects: Music
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: <bold>ABSTRACT<bold> With a sound once compared to an "army of glam-rock robots gargling sheet metal," the contemporary, New York City-based band Battles combines the visceral energy and timbres of indie rock with the repetitive, loop-based rhythmic structures of electronic dance music (EDM). Like EDM, metrical dissonance--the sounding of metrically conflicting rhythms--is pervasive, though with a degree of rhythmic complexity and instrumental virtuosity more commonly found in progressive rock, especially the "math rock" subgenre that emerged in the late 1980s. In developing a methodology for studying metrical dissonance, theorists have focused primarily on classical music's common-practice period, and generally ignored music from other genres--particularly un-notated genres in which metrical dissonance is a subjective experience, without visual cues such as time signatures and barlines. This paper uses terms and nomenclature developed by Harald Krebs to examine the ways metrical dissonance is created in Battles' music and the role of the listener in determining metrical structure during moments of ambiguity. I will also draw on the work of Mark Butler, whose application of Krebs' methods to EDM reveals processes of rhythmic layering and beat displacement similar to those used by Battles. Through the use of original transcriptions, I will argue that a listener's metrical perception is guided largely by the drum pattern and hypermetric organization, including embedded hypermeasures in dissonant rhythmic layers. Five tracks serve as examples of metrical dissonance in Battles' music: "DDiamondd," "Rainbow," "SZ2," and "TRAS 2," as well as "Tonto" in its studio, live, and remixed versions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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