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The structure of metrical patterns in tunes and in literary verse. Evidence from discrepancies between musical and linguistic rhythm in Italian songs

Teresa Proto and François Dell


A first exploration of acceptable and unacceptable discrepancies between linguistic and musical rhythm in Italian songs has uncovered two kinds of discrepancies which do not have counterparts in literary verse: durational discrepancies between adjacent syllables and stress-beat misalignments that involve nonadjacent syllables. The latter type is explored in greater detail than the former. Our survey suggests that analogous misalignments are in principle impossible in literary verse composed in accentual or accentual-syllabic meters, because, on the one hand, the abstract metrical templates that characterize such meters are not anchored in measured time, and, on the other hand, they do not recognize more than two degrees of metrical prominence.

Collegium de Lyon, Lyon, France

Published Online: 2013-05-01
Published in Print: 2013-05-02

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston