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Timing-Sound Interactions in Traditional Scandinavian Fiddle Music: Preliminary Findings and Implications

EasyChair Preprint no. 1143

4 pagesDate: June 10, 2019


This paper reports from a study of concepts and practices of microrhythm among skilled performers of traditional Scandinavian fiddle music, particularly the so-called springar tradition which features non-isochronous and variable beats and subdivisions within a triple meter framework. In this context, microrhythm refers to the overall shaping of musical events at the micro level, encompassing both timing (temporal placement and duration) and sound (shape/envelope, timbre and intensity). A particular focus is to explore how these musical features interact and how timing-sound interactions in turn are understood in terms of groove-forming elements. The referred study consisted of semi-structured interviews with five expert musicians, focusing on the defining features of a good groove, and how aspects of sound are envisaged to affect aspects of rhythm and timing, and vice versa. It was found that groove is largely conceptualized in terms of movement and embodiment; that musical features (timing, accentuation, ornamentation, tone production) are seen to interact and overlap, suggesting a multiparametrical and dynamic concept of groove; and that variation in the overall melodic-rhythmic crafting of the tunes is an important groove-forming element. To further highlight some of these findings, the paper also presents an analyzed sample of a springar tune.

Keyphrases: Groove, Microrhythm, Non-isochronous musical meter, Scandinavian traditional music, timing

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Mats Johansson},
  title = {Timing-Sound Interactions in Traditional Scandinavian Fiddle Music: Preliminary Findings and Implications},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1143},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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