Desain, P., & Honing, H. (1993). Tempo curves considered harmful. In "Time in contemporary musical thought" J. D. Kramer (ed.), Contemporary Music Review. 7(2). 123-138.


In the literature of musicology, computer music research and the psychology of music, timing or tempo measurements are mostly presented in the form of continuous curves. The notion of these tempo curves is dangerous, despite its widespread use, because it lulls its users into the false impression that a continuous concept of temporal flow has an independent existence, a musical or psychological reality, and that time can be perceived independent of events carrying it. But if one bases a transformation or manipulation of timing on the implied characteristics of such a notion, one fails. A concept of timing that is more closely linked to the musical structure is advocated.

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