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.

In the next rhythmical type analyzed—­the iambic form—­that relation of the first to the second interval holds which was found to obtain in the preceding forms.  The excess of mean variation in the former over the latter presents the ratio 1.274:  1.000.  In amount it is less than in either of the previous types (2.290:1.000 and 1.722:1.000).  For here, though both elements have constant relations as accented or unaccented members of the group, the factor of stress has been transferred from the initial to the final beat.  Instead, therefore, of combining in a single member, the factors of inconstancy due to stress and to position are distributed between the two elements, and tend to neutralize each other.  That the preponderance of irregularity is still with the initial interval leads to the inference that position is a greater factor of inconstancy than accentuation.

Also, the group presents here, as in the preceding forms, a greater fixity than does the individual interval.  This relation holds for all subjects but one, the average mean variations of the simple interval and of the unit group having the ratio 1.000:0.824.

In larger groupings irregularities in the relations of higher and lower again occur, and again the greater constancy obtains between the first and second orders of higher grouping (in which for only one subject has the lower group a greater fixity than the higher, and the averages for all subjects in the two cases are in the ratio 1.149:0.951), and the lesser constancy between the unit group and the first higher (in which two subjects manifested like relations with those just given, while three present inverted relations).  The whole series of relations, on the basis of unity for the mean variation of the simple interval, is given in Table LXIV.


  Proportional.  Single Beat. 2-Beat Group. 4-Beat Group. 8-Beat Group
      M.V. 1.000 0.824 1.149 0.951

There is also presented here, as in the preceding forms, a synthesis of the material into groups of four and eight beats, with similar differences in the fixity of the first and last periods in each.  A single subject, in the case of each order of grouping, diverges from the type.  The ratio of difference in the mean variations of the first and second members of the groups is, for series of four beats, 1.000:0.657, and for series of eight beats, 1.000:0.770.  This indicates a diminishing definition of rhythmical quantities as the synthesis proceeds, but a diminution which follows too gradual a curve to indicate the disappearance of synthesis at the proximate step in the process.

Three-beat rhythms were next taken up and the same method of analysis carried out in connection with each of the three accentual forms, initial, median, and final stress.  In these types of rhythm the intra-group intervals are more than one in number; for the purpose of comparison with the final, or inter-group interval, the average of the first and second intervals has been taken in each case.

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