Writing the Flow

Time, Rhythm and Western Music Notation

Tiziano Manca
David Burn (promotor), Paulo de Assis (co-promotor)
ancient greek music, composition, contemporary music, music notation, polyfony
Gestart in 2013
oude muziek (voor 13de eeuw), 13de eeuwse muziek, 14de eeuwse muziek, 20ste eeuwse muziek, 21ste eeuwse muziek



My research topic is rhythm and rhythm notation in Western research, music theory, and practice. The research aims to investigate the role music notation held in shaping time, i.e. how musical notation not only preserves, but also structures it, in order that it becomes writable. 

The project consists of two parts: historical research and artistic experimentation. The historical research focuses mainly on the theory and practice of music from the thirteenth century until about 1600. However it first examines the Greek-Roman legacy, particularly Aristoxenus’ of Tarentum Elementa rhythmica. Although the supremacy of “material” over rhythm is still noticeable in New Music, it is mostly in contemporary music that composers, albeit contradictorily, feel the need to reconsider musical rhythm and time. My artistic experimentation will seek creative practices that free rhythm from its subordination to “material” and the restrictions of graphic signs. Starting from some intuitions of Anton Webern and György Ligeti I aim to base my next compositions on body gestures and time, including the performer in the creative process.