Timing patterns: What rhythmic nuances are aesthetically relevant in particular musical cultures

This subproject investigates the perception and aesthetic evaluation of patterns of microtiming—subtle lengthening or shortening of particular notes—that is inherent in the performance of musical rhythms. While musicologists attach great importance to such patterns for their rhythmicity and aesthetic appeal, recent empirical findings from music psychology suggest that they play a rather minor role (if any) in our rhythmic engagement with and aesthetic appreciation of musical performance. The project collects data in West Africa, South America and Central Europe, where experiments on several African-diasporic music styles are carried out with different (sub)cultural groups.



Neuhoff, H., Polak, R., & Fischinger, T. (2017). Perception and Evaluation of Timing Patterns in Drum Ensemble Music from Mali. Music Perception, 34(4), 438–451. DOI: 10.1525/mp.2017.34.4.438