Document Type


Journal Title

Music Theory Online (MTO)

Publication Date



The music of Franz Liszt has become widely recognized by music theorists for its harmonic and formal innovations. However, little attention has been given to adventurous rhythmic/metric aspects of Liszt’s compositional style: specifically, he frequently incorporates rich metric structures in which the notated metric layer, indicated by time signatures and bars, and heard metric layer, given by cues in the sounding music, are locked in an evolving conflict. To model such interactions, this article develops a new analytical system based on Lewin’s generalized interval system (GIS) concept, constructing a new three-component metric direct product GIS called Met. The article then introduces specialized techniques including intervallic decomposition, expansion, and contraction that allow the analyst to organize, compare, and relate diverse Met intervals. The remainder of the article applies this new system to preliminary analyses of Liszt’s “Wilde Jagd” and “Invocation,” providing significant local and global insights into these works’ metric structures and suggesting new possibilities for metric analysis.


This article was originally published in MTO, a journal for the Society of Music Theory at:

Publisher Statement

Copyright 2017 - Society for Music Theory. Permission to display in repository received from editor on July 26, 2019.