Mr. Steve Schwartz wrote:
>How long do you hold a rest with a fermata? That's a prime example of an
>inexact rest, especially when there are fermatas over different note values
>in different parts in the same measure. There are other situations as
>well, some of which I've mentioned in a longer post, and all drawn from
>actual examples of music. So it really isn't my suggestion (sneer quotes
>noted) after all.
fer-ma-ta (fer ma'tuh) n. pl. <-tas, -te> (-ta). Music
1. Also called <hold, pause.> the sustaining of a note, chord, or
rest for a duration longer than the indicated time value, with the
length of the extension at the performer's discretion.
My quibble was that you stated that there were two types of rests --
internal and external. Perhaps I misunderstood you original statement
(actually, I hope that I did).
I think that we are not really disagreeing here. I was under the
impression that you (or perhaps someone else) had said that rests were
"unimportant". This is patently untrue.
>There are also notes that are held inexact durations, particularly in
>20th-century music. You want specific examples? How about the storm and
>prayer scene in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, where each character in effect
>prays at his own speed?
Isn't this more a matter of "tempo ad libitum" not rests?
>Yes, these are examples of exact rests, always allowing for the desideratum
>that music made by humans isn't mechanically exact.
Nor would we want it to be [mechanically exact]. Can you imagine the
accelerandos and decelerandos of, say, the 2nd movement of Schuman's 2nd
Symphony without some degree of "humanness" to them?