Title

Perceived and Imagined Tempos of Familiar Songs

Publication Date

1988

Journal

Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Volume

6

Issue

2

First Page

193

Last Page

202

Abstract

Two studies investigated the similarity of metronome settings to perceived and imagined familiar songs by subjects unselected for musical ability. In Study 1, mean tempo settings in the two tasks were about 100 beats per minute. Songs with slower perceived tempos tended to be faster in the imagery task and vice versa. In Study 2, subjects set fastest and slowest acceptable tempos for the same set of songs in the imagery mode. These settings were positively correlated with the preferred tempo for the song. Most subjects thought that there were limits on how fast or slow a song could be imagined. These results suggest that tempo is explicitly represented in auditory imagery.

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