[Smt-talk] Binary Bias in Metric Perception Studies

JAY RAHN jayrahn at rogers.com
Tue Feb 28 18:12:08 PST 2012

I would elaborate on Gregory Karl's suggested explanation by pointing out that, other factors being equal, one would tend to respond to successive onsets according to duple metre, rather than some other metre, because a greater number of pairs of interonset intervals would be heard as the same. Such a tendency could be understood as an instance of Wertheimer's Gestalt Grouping Principle of Similarity, albeit involving onsets that are not necessarily immediately successive: an entire succession of onsets would be heard as a single group to the extent that pairs of onsets within the succession are heard as time-intervallically the same. This would favour not only duple over triple, but also simple over compound, etc. 

London's Hearing In Time surveys some of the more prominent studies since the late 19th century.

Jay Rahn, York University

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