Tempo curves considered harmful

A tale in three, somewhat disturbing parts.
With Mr. M as the mathematician,
Mr. P as the psychologist,
and their musical friend.

Sweetened with sound examples (indicated as [play])

Written by Peter Desain and Henkjan Honing.

Part I
Part II
Part III

The title is a paraphrase on Edsger W. Dijkstra's note in the March 1968 "Communications of the ACM", named "Goto Statement Considered Harmful". It stressed the importance of structure in computer programs. Knowing this, the parallel with unstructured representations of tempo (like tempo curves) is obvious.

[Published as: 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. Pre-printed in: Desain, P. & Honing, H. (1992). Music, Mind and Machine. Studies in Computer Music, Music Cognition and Artificial Intelligence.Amsterdam: Thesis Publishers.]