This book presents a theory of metrical conflict and applies it to the music of Schumann, thereby placing the composer's distinctive metrical style in full focus. It describes the various categories of metrical conflict that characterize Schumann's work, investigates how states of conflict are introduced and then manipulated and resolved in his compositions, and studies the interaction of such metrical conflict with form, pitch structure, and text. Throughout the text, Krebs intersperses his own theoretical assertions with Schumannesque dialogues between Florestan and Eusebius, who comment on the theory at hand while also discussing and illustrating relevant aspects of "their" metrical practices.

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