Beat Induction Demo
Beat induction is the process in which a regular isochronous pattern (the beat) is activated while listening to music. This beat, often tapped along by musicians, is a central issue in time keeping in music performance. But also for non-experts the process seems to be fundamental to the processing, coding and appreciation of temporal patterns. The induced beat carries the perception of tempo and is the basis of temporal coding of temporal patterns. Furthermore, it determines the relative importance of notes in, for example, the melodic and harmonic structure (see Desain & Honing, 1999).

Beat induction is a good example of a simple cognitive task -- tapping the beat with your foot while listening to the music -- that is quite hard to model computationally. As an example, have a look at the following pattern of lines and dots:


Do you see any emergent structure? Probably not. When you would listen to it, though (e.g., the pattern being played from left to right, with every line being a 16th note and every dot a 16th rest), you would quickly hear a regular pattern -the beat-, and could probably easily tap your foot along with it.

The video below shows how three rule-based models predict this pattern (rhythm of the British National Anthem):