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Hearing in Time – Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Hearing in Time: Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter

Justin London


This book develops a theory of musical meter based on psychological research in temporal perception, cognition, and motor behavior. Meter is regarded as a kind of entrainment, a synchronization of attention and actions to the rhythms of the environment. Drawing on research on the ability to make durational discriminations and categorizations at various tempos, as well as evidence from neurobiology, the “speed limits” for meter are given: the inter-onset interval for metric elements must be greater than 100ms (10 per second) and less than 1.5-2.00 seconds. Care is taken to distinguish rhythms o ... More

Keywords: entrainment, rhythm, meter, attention, metric well-formedness, tempo, ambiguity, complex meters, maximal evenness, many meters hypothesis

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199744374
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744374.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Justin London, author
Carleton College