[Smt-talk] Pieces with improvisatory openings

Mitch Ohriner mohriner at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 09:31:51 PDT 2011

Hello Collected Wisdom and Beloved Scholars,

I’m interested in studying the emergence of tempo from the perspective of
the listener. One viable case study for this phenomenon is the class of
pieces that begin with short, improvisatory passages that precede more
temporally patterned movements proper.

This is slightly different than the phenomenon previously discussed on this
list in which the most salient level of time-span organization is initially
obscured in preference for a faster or slower rate (i.e., London’s “metric

A paragon of what I’m looking for would be Chopin’s G-minor Ballade, Op. 23.
I’ve also been directed to Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3, Op. 41, no. 3.

Do you know of other tonal examples like these? I’ll take responses off-list
unless they’re of general interest.

Thank you for your thoughts and I look forward to seeing many of you at our
Annual Meeting next week.

Best regards,

Mitch Ohriner

mohriner at gmail.com
Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Shenandoah Conservatory
Winchester, VA
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