Pause and Silence – Symmetry and the General End-Pause in Beethoven


A musical work is an organized system of notes and of higher musical units such as motives, themes, harmonies, etc. We shall here confine ourselves to notes. A note is not just a physical event (an acoustic disturbance, a passage of wave energy), but a musical entity with functional properties sensitive to context. Roughly, it can be described as an acoustic event under a particular description (“tonic”, “dominant”, “leading tone”, “appoggiatura”, “upper voice of a septachord”, etc.). Are pauses genuine notes in this sense? Surely they are indicated by written signs in the score; but, is that sufficient for regarding them as notes? And are they audible notes? Although this may seem a strange, and, some would say plainly false, idea, we shall see in the sequel that there is much to be said in its favor



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A Note on the Substitutivity of Notes.G. Bar-Elli - 1980 - Analysis 41 (1):27 - 32.

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