Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

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that of the whole group in the relation of 1.953:1.000.  The differentiation of larger and smaller groups is less clear.  When the material is taken in groups of eight successive beats the mean variation is less in the case of every subject than when taken in fours, in the ratio 1.000:1.521.  The comparative values for groups of two and four beats is reversed in two thirds of the cases, yet so that an average for all subjects gives the ratio 1.000:1.066 between groups of four and two beats.  The whole series of values arranged on the basis of unity for the mean variation of the beat interval is given in Table LXII.

TABLE LXII.

  Proportional.  Single Beat. 2-Beat Group. 4-Beat Group. 8-Beat Group. 
     M.V. 1.000 0.512 0.480 0.320

The persons taking part in the investigation were next required to make a series of reactions composed of unit groups of two beats, in each of which the first member received accentuation, a simple trochaic rhythm.  In this type the relation of intra-group to inter-group interval remains unchanged.  In all subjects but one the mean variation of the first interval exceeds that of the second in the average ratio 1.722:1.000.  The amount of difference is less than in the preceding type of reaction.  In the former there is presented not an intensively uniform series, but an irregularly rhythmical grouping of intensities, in dependence on the well-defined parallel types of temporal differentiation; in the latter such intensive differentiation is fundamental and constant in its form.  Assuming the character of the second interval to remain unchanged, there is in the intensive fixity of the initial accented element, on the one hand, and the alternate assertion of the impulse to accentuation and repression of it in the attempt to preserve uniformity, on the other, an occasion for the difference in the relation of the mean variation of this interval to that of the following in the two cases.  It is to be expected that there should be less irregularity in a series of reactions each of which represents an attempt to produce a definite and constant rhythmical accent, than in a series in which such an accent is spasmodically given and repressed.

For a like reason, the difference in value between the mean variations of the elementary interval and the unit group should be less in the case of the positive rhythm form than in that of a series which combines a definite temporal segregation with an attempt to maintain intensive uniformity.  The mean variation of the interval is still of greater value than that of the unit group, but stands to it in the reduced ratio 1.000:0.969.

The relations of higher groups present certain departures from the preceding type.  In three cases out of five the unit has a greater
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fixity than its immediate compound ( | q. q; q q |), with an average
\_______/
ratio of 0.969:1.072.  The original relation, however, is reestablished in the case of the next higher multiple, the eight-beat group, the whole series of values, arranged on the basis of unity for the simple interval, being as follows: 

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