Rhythm (at)

Subject: Rhythm
Date:    Wed, 19 Nov 1997 08:55:12 -0500

Dear List, This is a question about the ability to perceive irregularity in rhythm. It comes from Boogie Bob, Lansing's foremost rhythm and blues artist. What is the JND for perceiving an unequal division of a beat into two notes? 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? Because this is a question about rhythm and not about the perception of tone duration, there needs to be a context. Probably it's best to think of a regular and indefinite repetition of the two-note sequence in question. That establishes the tempo and context. Anybody out there with information on this subject? Next: how about the ability to reliably PRODUCE such a division? Thanks, Bill

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DAn Ellis <dpwe@ee.columbia.edu>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University