Dissertation Index

Author: Waters, William J.

Title: A Study of Temporal Change in the Recorded Performances of Igor Stravinsky's, `The Rite of Spring'

Institution: Florida State University

Begun: January 1994

Completed: December 1995


his study will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the recorded performances of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" concentrating on changing interpretations with regard to tempo in general, and the idea that musical works are performed slower today than in the earlier part of this century (as promulgated by Harold Schonberg, Robert Philip, Sandra Rosenblum, et al) in particular. Chapter one will present timings for approximately ninety recordings from 1929 to 1993 in terms of minutes and seconds. Chapter two will focus on those sections of the work exhibiting a marked shift in tempo by employing a computer program (TempoMapper) to construct temporal maps. This type of analysis was used as early as 1964 by Robert King. However, the present study borrows from a more recent method employed by Jos Bowen. In Chapter three (and several subsequent ones) the focus of the study will shift from where changes of tempo have taken place to the thorny question of why. Factors to be considered include changes in the recording medium, the growing emphasis on detail in modern recordings, and showmanship of conductors.

Keywords: Stravinsky, "Rite of Spring," tempo, performance practice, performance trends, sound recordings, "TempoMapper," computer-aided analysis


Bill Waters, Pensacola Jr. College (LRC), 1000 College Blvd.,
Pensacola, FL 32504 (wk) or 1175 Peperidge Dr., Pensacola, FL, 32504
Voice: 904-484-2058(wk) 904-494-9058(hm) e-mail: bwaters@pjc.cc.fl.us

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