Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

  Rhythm. 1st Beat. 2d Beat. 3d Beat.  Value.

Syncopated Measures      13.00     15.12     16.50  Absolute. 
Unaccented,               1.000     1.175     1.269 Relative.
Syncopated Measures      10.95     11.82     16.11  Absolute. 
Accented,                 1.000     1.079     1.471 Relative.

These averages hold for every individual record, and therefore represent a thoroughly established type.  In both forms the reaction of the syncopated measure receives the greatest stress.  In the first form, while the stress is relatively less than in the second, it is at the same time absolutely greater.  The whole set of values is raised (the ratio of average intensities in the two forms being 1.147:1.000), as it has already been found to be raised in other forms difficult to execute.  To this cause the preponderance is undoubtedly to be attributed, as the reports of every subject describe this form as unnatural, in consequence of the restraint it imposes on an impulse to accent the final reaction, i.e., the syncopated measure.

In the next set of experiments the series of reactions involved the alternation of a syncopated measure consisting of a single beat with a full measure of three beats.  The same discrimination into accented and unaccented forms in the final measure was made as in the preceding group.  The series of absolute and relative values are given in the following table.


  Rhythm. 1st Beat. 2d Beat. 3rd Beat. 4th Beat.  Value.

Syncopated Measures   9.77      8.96       9.61      13.78   Absolute. 
Unaccented,           1.000     0.915      0.983      1.165  Relative.
Syncopated Measures  11.57     11.07      11.53      21.50   Absolute. 
Accented,             1.000     0.957      0.996      1.858  Relative.

These averages hold for every subject where the syncopated measure receives accentuation, and for two out of three reactors where it is unaccented.  The latter individual variation shows a progressive increase in intensity throughout the series.

Here, as in the preceding forms, a well-established type is presented.  Not only when accentuation is consciously introduced, but also when the attempt is made—­and in so far as the introspection of the reactor goes, successfully made—­to maintain a uniformity among the reactions of the full and syncopated measures, the emphasis on the latter is unconsciously increased.  In the accented form, as before, there is a clear discrimination into two grades of intensity (ratio of first three elements to final, 1.000:1.888) while in the unaccented no such broad separation exists (ratio of first three elements to final, 1.000:1.156).

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Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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