The Perception and Cognition of Time in Balinese Music

Andrew Clay McGraw
2008 Empirical Musicology Review  
This article describes experiments designed to determine the perception and cognition of time-in-music among Balinese gamelan musicians. Three topics are discussed. First, the proposed connections between cultural/religious concepts of time and the construction of (time in) gamelan music are explored. Here a novel and experimental use of the Implicit Association Test is incorporated to explore potential implicit (unconscious) connections between concepts of time-in-music and time-ingeneral.
more » ... time-ingeneral. Only weak associations are found. Second, the author explores music's influence in subjects' ability to gauge objective durations. Other than a tendency for Balinese subjects to consistently underestimate actual timings, and the potential for tempo changes to influence response patterns in specific ways, few strong patterns are found. Third, previously proposed models for the performance of tempo changes (here, rallentandos) are explored in the context of gamelan music. Results from perceptual tasks and an analysis of performance suggests that previous idealized models are too simplistic to describe the Balinese case.
doi:10.18061/1811/31938 fatcat:upivq6bkavehzhcmvm4u4jpy2y