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Re: Rhythm

Dear List,

>         A quarter note beat could be divided into two eighth notes.
>         Theoretically, that would be a 50-50 division.
>         It could be divided into a dotted quarter and a sixteenth.
>         That would be a 75-25 division, clearly different from 50-50.
>         Can you distinguish between 75-25 and 67-33? How about 75-25
>         vs 70-30?
> Presumably the answer depends somehow on the tempo. How?

Many of the studies investigating such questions have used stimuli
that are vastly simpler than real music (Repp's work is an exception
to this). Caroline Palmer (among others) is doing nice work on the
production of musical rhythm.

I have been developing an approach to rhythm perception that attempts to
explain both how people can perceive interval categories, and how
acute discrimination their abilities are, in the case of very complex
auditory patterns such as music. The idea is to model beat and meter
perception as the attractor states of a temporally stable dynamical
system (a network of nonlinear oscillators entrained to the rhythmic
pattern); this has implications for many aspects of perception and
attention. Take a look at:

Large, E. W., & Kolen, J. F. (1994). Resonance and the perception of
musical meter. Connection Science, 6 (1), 177 - 208.

You should also read the work of Mari Jones, who has been
investigating attention and time perception for several years
now. Recently Mari and I have been been concerned with testing this
internal oscillation theory of rhythm perception. Briefly, we have
found that the ability to detect small changes in the timing of note
onsets depends upon a number of factors including:

1. the overall tempo
2. the rhythmic patterning of the surrounding context
3. the variability of the periodicites that
   make up the rhythmic context
4. tempo modulation in the surrounding context
   (is the pattern speeding up or slowing down)
5. (probably -- this is still under investigation)
   whether the altered duration is longer or shorter than
   the standard duration

The paper's still under review, but I'd be happy to send you a copy:

Large, E. W., and Jones, M. R. (submitted). The dynamics of attending:
How we track time varying events.


Edward W. Large
Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
3401 Walnut Street, Suite 301C
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228
Voice: (215) 898-0343

A quick look for related refs in my database turned up:

Repp, B. H. (1992). Probing the cognitive representation of musical
time: Structural constraints on the perception of timing
perturbations. Cognition, 44, 241-281.

Jones, M.R. & Yee, W. (1997) Sensitivity to time change: The role of
context and skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human
Perception & Performance.

Drake, C., & Botte, M. (1993). Tempo sensitivity in auditory
sequences: Evidence for a multiple-look model. Perception and
Psychophysics, 54, 277-286.

Allan, L.G. (1979). The perception of time. Perception &
Psychophysics, 26 (5), 340-354.

Boltz, M. (1992). The remembering of auditory event durations. Journal
of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition. 18, 938-956.

Creelman, C. D. (1962). Human Discrimination of auditory
duration. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 34, 582-593.

Drake, C., & Palmer, C. (1993). Accent structures in music
performance. Music Perception, 10, 343-378.

Getty, D. J. (1975). Discrimination of short temporal intervals: A
comparison of two models. Perception and Psychophysics, 18, 1-8.

Getty, D. J. (1976) Counting processes in human timing. Perception &
Psychophysics, 20, 191-197.

Ivry, R. B., & Hazeltine, R. E. (1995). Perception and production of
temporal intervals across a range of durations: Evidence for a common
timing mechanism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception
and Performance, 21, 3-18.

Jones, M. R. (1976). Time, our lost dimension: Toward a new theory of
perception, attention, and memory. Psychological Review, 83, 323-335.

Jones, M.R., & Boltz, M. (1989). Dynamic attending and responses to
time. Psychological Review, 96, 459-491.

Keele, S., Nicoletti, R. Ivry, R., & Pokorny, R. (1989). Mechanism96). On the
 nature oflze, H.H. (1989). The perception of temporal deviation in
isochronic patterns. Perception & Psychophysics, 45, 291-296.

Epstein, D. (1995). Shaping Time: Music, the Brain, and
Performance. London: Schirmer Books.