This article is in five sections, each of which deals with a problem basic to the theory of musical meter. The first sets up a conceptual framework in which meter, group structure, and accent are related to one another. The second explores the practical and aesthetic functions of metric perception. In the next section, grouping and accent, as the determinants of meter, are thoroughly investigated. A penultimate section discusses several operations of metric distortion, and the final section considers the bases for, and significance of, deeper levels of meter. In a general sense, the article attempts to make sense out of the tangle of conflicting views that constitutes the recent literature on this subject. Each of its sections departs from a survey of prevalent views and proceeds to mediate among these by integrating them in a general framework in which they are more or less easily accommodated without mutual contradiction.