The War of the Romantics: An Alternate Hypothesis Using nPVI for the Quantitative Anthropology of Music

Leigh VanHandel


This response offers an alternate interpretation for the data described in Joseph Daniele's 2016 article "A tool for the quantitative anthropology of music: Use of the nPVI equation to analyze rhythmic variability within long-term historical patterns in music." I examine Daniele's argument that there is an overall rising trend in rhythmic variability in German composition from 1600-1950, and offer an alternate, historically informed explanation based on the re-examination of the data. The rising trend does not appear to be consistent throughout time, and rather than being the result of the waning influence of Italian music on German music, I suggest an alternative hypothesis concerning documented differences between late 19th century German composers and their compositional styles.


historical trends; quantitative musicology; corpus study; rhythm; nPVI

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Leigh VanHandel

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Beginning with Volume 7, No 3-4 (2012), Empirical Musicology Review is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license

Empirical Musicology Review is published by The Ohio State University Libraries.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact

ISSN: 1559-5749