Desain, P., & Honing, H. (1991). Tempo curves considered harmful (part 1). Array, 11(3), 8-9.


A column (the first of a series of three) constitutes an abridged and adapted version of Tempo curves considered harmful . Two friends, an amateur mathematician (M) and a would-be psychologist (P), invited a retired pianist to do some experiments with their new sequencer program. As musical material they choose the theme from the six variations composed by Ludwig van Beethoven on the duet Nel cor piò non mi sento. They were quite disappointed when they found out that the key-change feature of the sequencer program was not musically usable because the expressive timing was not adapted accordingly. They also discovered that, due to the same defect, the tempo knob could not be used to speed up a performance in a musical way.

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