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.
Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Halpern, Andrea. "Perceived and Imagined Tempos of Familiar Songs." Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal (1988) : 193-202.