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Alain de Cheveigne' sent me the following as mail.  However, I think it is an
interesting point to pursue:
>>> Yes, the
>>>Mussorgsky notes in the last measures of Gnome are audible
>>>only to the very best trained ears (I used to be capable of such tricks
>>>thirty some years ago...) and, therefore, we can assume that the
>>>timing units are quite a bit larger than the eight-note element.
>>It helps if you know in advance what the notes are (say, from having
>>the passage).
>In other words, a strong cue to segmentation is the score.... :-)
Beneath the frivolity lurks a more sober truth.  However, it is probably more
easily recognized in the domain of speech.  When you are just beginning to
learn a foreign language, it is often a lot easy to resolve what you hear
as words if you are reading the text at the same time (or at least so believe
a good deal of the language laboratory industry).  Therefore, it should be no
surprise that we hear music the same way.  Of course, the extent to which this
helps us do segmentation depends on our ability to make segmentation judgments
from the score.  Sometimes the score provides us valuable cues, such as
bar-lines;  but, given the history of the redrawing of bar lines in "Le
Sacre du Printemps," that particular cue definitely has its limitations.
My guess is that it is still the ear which makes segmentation decisions,
even when the eye is aided by the score.

Stephen W. Smoliar; Institute of Systems Science
National University of Singapore; Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Kent Ridge, SINGAPORE 0511
Internet:  smoliar@iss.nus.sg   FAX:  +65-473-9897