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Breaking the vicious circle of rhythm–tempo definitions

Tangian, Andranik S.


In music literature, rhythm is defined relative to a certain tempo, and tempo is defined relative to a certain rhythm. This vicious circle implies that any sequence of time durations can be regarded as either (a) a sequence of these durations at a constant tempo or (b) a sequence of equal durations at a varying tempo or (c) a sequence of unequal durations at a varying tempo in numerous ways. Most listeners, however, perceive rhythm and tempo in the same way, which we explain as the result of a close interaction of the grouping and simplicity laws of Gestalt psychology.
Operationally, the complexity of a data representation is defined as the amount of memory that is required for the algorithm of the data generation. Each rhythm-tempo representation includes rhythmic patterns and the tempo curve that ‘generates’ their augmentations and diminutions in time. The complexity of such a representation is split between the rhythmic patterns and the tempo curve, and the representation with the least total complexity is selected. Rhythm and tempo are thus complementary structures that mutually adapt according to the criterion of simplicity, which leads to an optimal rhythm-tempo perception. ... mehr

Volltext §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000133727
Veröffentlicht am 08.06.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre (ECON)
Publikationstyp Forschungsbericht/Preprint
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2194-1629
KITopen-ID: 1000133727
Verlag Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Umfang ii, 19 S.
Serie KIT Scientific Working Papers ; 168
Schlagwörter Rhythm; Tempo; Rhythmic grammar; Gestalt psychology; Principle of correlativity of perception; Artificial perception.
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