Rhythmus und Zeitwahrnehmung in der Musik

Georg Boenn

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We discuss Husserl's seminal text `Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness' and its influence on musicians and composers in the 20th century. We then take an in-depth look into his notion of retentions and protentions that originate from the now-point and draw important consequences for the study of rhythm and timing in music. For example, we find a strong correlation between rhythms placed within a metrical framework and the perception of beats and metre. After the application of Husserl's theory to music composition one finds that every monophonic line within a musical metre will generate a unique polyphonic score of retentional rhythms. It is the generation and analysis of those retentional rhythms that make a unique contribution to the field. In addition, we analyse the common notion of `time standing still', timelessness, in relation to the cognition of musical rhythms and higher level timing structures.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationVom Sinn des Hoerens
Subtitle of host publicationZur Philosophie der Musik
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 1999


  • philosophy of music
  • rhythm
  • phenomenology
  • cognition

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