Journal of
Music and Dance

  • Abbreviation: J. Music Dance
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2360-8579
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMD
  • Start Year: 2011
  • Published Articles: 23

Full Length Research Paper

Perceiving patterns of ratios when they are converted from relative durations to melody and from cross rhythms to harmony

Aggelos Bousmpouras
  • Aggelos Bousmpouras
  • Media Technology Program, Computer Science Institute, Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts Leiden University, Netherlands.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 15 April 2011
  •  Accepted: 09 June 2017
  •  Published: 31 January 2018


This research aims to study the perception of relative durational and cross-rhythm patterns when they are converted into melodic or harmonic patterns. Twenty-four international students from Groningen conservatoire were given twenty- four trials; twelve deals with their melodic/harmonic perception ability and the other twelve deals with the ability to perceive the converted rhythmical patterns. The purpose of the  twelve first trials was to see if the perception ability patterns within a single property (part A) are done in the rational perception ability patterns of relative durations to melody or cross rhythms to harmony (part B). This was not the case, although there were some notable exceptions. The results in PART B had a great variety ranging from 4 to 87.5% accuracy rate, pointing that the relative difficulty of the trials was of great importance. If the comparison patterns are complex and have common elements with the standard pattern, then the accuracy of the subjects decreases. This contrasts the significant accuracy scores if the comparison patterns  differ much in complexity and have no common elements with the standard pattern.

Key words: Ratios, rhythmical patterns, Gestalt, perceptual invariance, intramodal transfer, rational scales, cross-properties matching.