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Saunders, James E.

The Final Frontier: The Development of Polytempo in the Music of Conlon Nancarrow

M.Mus. Royal Northern College of Music, 1996
(j.e.saunders@hud.ac.uk)

The Mexican composer Conlon Nancarrow has developed a variety of techniques for working with simultaneous multiple tempi, particularly in his Studies for Player Piano. The development of his use of polytempo is traced from the simple micro-pulse relationships in his early music through to the more elaborate irrational number relationships of the later pieces. The effects of his various approaches on the resulting music are examined.