A1 Journal article (refereed)
Motown, Disco, and Drumming : An Exploration of the Relationship Between Beat Salience, Melodic Structure, and Perceived Tempo (2019)

London, J., Thompson, M., Hildreth, M., Wilson, J., Schally, N., & Toiviainen, P. (2019). Motown, Disco, and Drumming : An Exploration of the Relationship Between Beat Salience, Melodic Structure, and Perceived Tempo. Music Perception, 37(1), 26-41. https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2019.37.1.26

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: London, Justin, Burger, Birgitta; Thompson, Marc; Hildreth, Molly; Wilson, Johanna; Schally, Nick; Toiviainen, Petri

Journal or series: Music Perception

ISSN: 0730-7829

eISSN: 1533-8312

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 37

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 26-41

Publisher: University of California press

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2019.37.1.26

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65535


In a study of tempo perception, London, Burger, Thompson, and Toiviainen (2016) presented participants with digitally ‘‘tempo-shifted’’ R&B songs (i.e., sped up or slowed down without otherwise altering their pitch or timbre). They found that while participants’ relative tempo judgments of original versus altered versions were correct, they no longer corresponded to the beat rate of each stimulus. Here we report on three experiments that further probe the relation(s) between beat rate, tempo-shifting, beat salience, melodic structure, and perceived tempo. Experiment 1 is a replication of London et al. (2016) using the original stimuli. Experiment 2 replaces the Motown stimuli with disco music, which has higher beat salience. Experiment 3 uses looped drum patterns, eliminating pitch and other cues from the stimuli and maximizing beat salience. The effect of London et al. (2016) was replicated in Experiment 1, present to a lesser degree in Experiment 2, and absent in Experiment 3. Experiments 2 and 3 also found that participants were able to make tempo judgments in accordance with BPM rates for stimuli that were not tempo-shifted. The roles of beat salience, melodic structure, and memory for tempo are discussed, and the TAE as an example of perceptual sharpening is considered.

Keywords: tempo; rhythm; music

Free keywords: rhythm; beat salience; tempo; absolute versus relative tempo judgment; perceptual sharpening

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 15:34