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In recent years, music theorists and analysts have devoted a great deal of attention to the phenomenon of hypermeter, drawing some of their most representative examples from the late works of Haydn. Although this recent trend in analysis has shed much light on Haydn’s music, it has left questions of history distinct from the mode of listening it engages. This article argues that the way we understand conceptualizations of listening and aesthetic experience can greatly inform the way that we understand hypermeter and the question of style in history. Drawing on eighteenth-century theories of music and literature, it recontextualizes Haydn’s hypermetric style with respect to a larger world of aesthetic experience.

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