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Re: maximum tatum (one tatum, two tata)

Jennifer Puente writes:

By pegging the tatum to a production task, isn't possible to miss
the actual "maximum amount of discrete musical events a person
can identify in a second?"  For instance, perhaps the person cannot
reliably tap as quickly as they need to in order to keep up with a
very quick sequence of IOIs, but they can still distinguish (hear)
distinct successive elements in the stream.  Perhaps, the tatum
should identify, perceptually, the minimal amount an IOI can be
before a person can no longer hear distinct events in a sequence.

This is exactly what the tapping task is meant to measure. Bartlett
and Bartlett (1959) asked participants to make only a single tap that
had to coincide with any self-chosen event in the sequence. In my
task, participants had to tap with every fourth tone, which is at a
rate four times slower than the sequence. In both tasks, participants
are unable to synchronize taps with events when the rate exceeds
about 10 Hz. Of course, people can still HEAR events at faster rates,
but they can no longer treat them as individual events in either
perception or action--at least, that is my interpretation.

With regard to some other recent mailings: My question was not where
"tatum" comes from (obviously, it is a reference to the great jazz
pianist) but who introduced it as a scientific term and what its
definition should be.

Bruno H. Repp
Senior Research Scientist
Haskins Laboratories
270 Crown Street
New Haven, CT 06511-6695
Tel. (203) 865-6163, ext. 236
FAX (203) 865-8963
e-mail: repp@haskins.yale.edu