Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 757 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

                       Intervals.  Groups. 
  Number Av. 1st 2d 1st 2d
  of Beats.  Acc.  Unacc.  Half.  Half.  Half.  Half.  Average Totals
  Six, 27.9% 20.9% 23.4% 23.0% 14.6% 13.3% 13.9% 13.8%
  Eight, 16.6 14.8 13.2 17.3 6.2 3.3 4.7 2.7
  Ten, 7.9 2.6 3.4 4.0 5.9 5.2 5.5 3.1

No exception here occurs to the characteristic predominance in instability of the accented element.  As regards simple intervals, the relation of first and second groups is reversed, the reason for which I do not know.  It may be connected with the rapid speed at which the series of reactions was made, and its consequent raising of the threshold of perceptible variation, proportional to the value of the whole interval, to which is also due the higher absolute value of the variations which appear in both tables.

These inversions disappear when we compare the relative stability of the first and second subgroups, in which the excess of variation in the former over the latter is not only constant but great, presenting the ratio for all three rhythms of 1.000:0.816.  The characteristic relation of lower to higher rhythmical syntheses also is here preserved in regard to the two subgroups and the total which they compose.

The points here determined are but a few of the problems regarding the structure of larger rhythmical sequences which are pressing for examination.  Of those proximate to the matter here under consideration, the material for an analysis of the mean variation in intensity of a series of rhythmical reactions is contained in the measurements taken in the course of the present work, and this may at a future time be presented.  The temporal variations having once been established it becomes a minor point.

Such conclusions, however, are only preliminary to an investigation of the characteristic structure of the ordinary metrical forms, and to these attention should next be turned.  The configuration of the common meters should be worked out both in relation to the whole formal sequence, and to the occurrence within the series of characteristic variations.  There can be no question that each metrical structure, the iambic trimeter or dactylic tetrameter line, for example, composes a definite rhythmical melody within which each measure is shortened or prolonged, subdued or emphasized, according to its position and connections in the series of relations which constitute the rhythmical sequence.

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