[LMB] Levels of Bafflement - metrical feet and stress.

catherine muir c_muir68 at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 14 14:15:09 GMT 2018


John , as I understand it, English is a stress-timed language; listening to the spoken word discloses, within each utterance, a regular stronger stressed syllable. That can be mapped, musically, to the first beat in a bar, with the unstressed of less stressed syllables distributed variously in rhythm.  That leads, in word setting, to the strongly stressed syllables being consistently more likely to be set to longer notes than the unstressed ones.

Incidentally, I think the original opening of Songs of Travel was "I must down to the sea again", the word " go" being added erroneously when the musical setting was done.


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