PopMAC day 1: Prosodic (Intonation) Rhythm in Popular Music. Svetlana Chashchina #popmac

The Development of a System of Prosodic (Intonation) Rhythm in Popular Music. Svetlana Chashchina (Vyatka State University, Russia)


The notion of ‘prosodic rhythm’ was introduced in science by Russian musicologist Miron Kharlap in the 1960-80s. At that time his fundamental rhythmic conception was hardly accepted by traditional Soviet musicology, but was accepted in rhythmological researches and showed its efficiency in ethnomusicology too. In the post-perestroyka period (beginning from the end of 1990s), Kharlap’s conception of the development of rhythm in historical retrospective outlasts the true scientific Renaissance. At the same time this conception is little known abroad.

The aims of this paper are: 1) to introduce the basic position of Kharlap rhythmic conception, with the particular attention to the system of prosodic rhythm, which is well adapted to analyzing archaic musical cultures, cultures of different forms of improvisation and many contemporary genres both in academic and popular avant-guard; 2) to illustrate different ways this kind of temporal-rhythmic organization can be used various popular-music genres, focusing on free jazz, hip-hop (recitative party), new age and alternative music. The compositions of Miles Davis, Dan Gibson and Björk will be analyzed as varied instances of prosodic rhythm.

Svetlana Chashchina Was born in 1966, Kirov (Russia). She has two master’s diplomas in art criticism from Nizhniy Novgorod State Conservatory, (MA) and the Russian Academy of Fine Arts. In 2000, Svetlana defended the thesis ‘Conception of musical duration (on an example of Claude Debussy’s instrumental works)’ at the Russian Institute of Art History, St-Petersburg. Her main research interests are: 1. Twentieth-century art, particularly music, media-art, architecture; 2. Issues of reflection of time and space in human culture (chronobiological, psychological, anthropological, cultural aspects); 3. Using the synergetic paradigm in social and humanitarian sciences. She has more than 50 published papers.

[JB note with apologies to Svetlana – the slides went by very fast and I missed quite a lot of the analytical detail. I will publish a link to her full paper if/when it appears online]

Svetlana begins with a discussion of the qualitative and quantitative types of rhythmic prosody. [Read more…]