Honing, H. (2004) Is timing tempo-specific? An online internet experiment on perceptual invariance of timing in music. ILLC Prepublication PP-2004-34.


This study is concerned with the question whether there is perceptual invariance of expressive timing under tempo-transformation in music performance. This is investigated by asking listeners to compare an original audio recording with a tempo-transformed (or time-stretched) version, using an online experimental design. The results show that a significant proportion of the respondents could identify (and preferred) an original recording. The results are taken as evidence for the timing-is-tempo-specific hypothesis, and counter evidence for the relational invariance hypothesis.

Full paper (pdf)