CCM's 'Thinking About Music' series presents virtual lecture by Danuta Mirka on April 16

Mirka's lecture on harmonic schemata and hypermeter is open to the UC community

CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series continues with a new series of virtual talks that are open to the entire UC community.

Each semester, UC's College-Conservatory of Music welcomes distinguished experts for a series of free musical discussions and lectures. This semester's Thinking About Music series continues at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 16, with a presentation by Danuta Mirka, a professor of music theory and cognition at Northwestern University.

The title of Mirka's talk is “Harmonic Schemata and Hypermeter.” This talk is open to the entire UC community, but registration is required. Sign up below to receive a link and password for the Zoom presentation.


For additional information on this lecture, please email Dr. Steven Cahn.


About the Lecture

Harmonic Schemata and Hypermeter: The concept of hypermeter implies that perception of meter extends upon metrical levels not reflected in notation. This concept is thus predicated upon similarities between meter and hypermeter yet perception of hypermeter is conditioned by several factors not involved in perception of meter proper. According to Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, meter above the bar level is increasingly supplanted by grouping which, at higher levels, is equivalent to phrase structure. The eminent roles played by phrase structure and harmonic rhythm in perception of hypermeter were dubbed by William Rothstein, respectively, the “rule of congruence” and the “rule of harmonic rhythm.” The “rule of texture” was added by Eric McKee and the “rule of parallelism” reformulated by David Temperley.

Dr. Mirka will posit another preference factor for hypermeter: the hypermetrical profile of harmonic schemata. By contrast to other preference factors, which work “bottom-up” and cue single events as strong, this factor allows for “top-down” processing of hypermeter by mapping the hypermetrical profile of a given schema upon a span of time including several events which can be either strong or weak. Dr. Mirka will concentrate on the cadential schema and illustrate its effect upon hypermeter with examples from Haydn’s and Mozart’s string quartets.

About the Guest Speaker

Dr Danuta Mirka studied music theory in Poland and earned a PhD in musicology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She was a Senior Fulbright Fellow at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Humboldt Fellow and Research Fellow of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Mirka’s main research interests include the theory and analysis of meter and rhythm and the study of musical communication in the late eighteenth century. She is a professor of music theory and cognition at Northwestern University.

About CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series

Since its inception in 1997, CCM's Thinking About Music Series has presented nearly 130 lectures and one symposium by guests from a number of different colleges, universities, schools of music, foundations, institutes, museums and publications. The series is co-directed by Professor of Music Theory Steven Cahn and Associate Professor of Musicology Jeongwon Joe.

The subjects of the lectures have covered historical musicology, music theory and ethnomusicology, along with the ancillary fields of organology, dance, music business and law, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy, theology and sociology of music.

Sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, these music theory and history discussions feature diverse topics presented by distinguished experts from all over the United States and are designed to engage participants’ imaginations and to consider music in new ways.


CCM’s Thinking About Music Series is sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel; along with support from the Dean's Office, the Graduate Student Association and the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory at CCM.

Additional Contacts

Rebecca Butts | Assistant Public Information Officer | UC College-Conservatory of Music

| 513-556-2675