There's a Reason Why Your Time is Bad: Blame Your Brain

I was listening to the excellent podcast Radio Lab the other day and heard something fascinating.

Karl Von Vierordt
The entire, short podcast was about peoples' perception of time, especially how it relates to Beethoven's 5th Sympohony, you know the one, the one that starts, BUH-BUH-BUH-BUUUUUUUHM...

We apparently have a bias in timing built into our circuits that affects how we perceive time. This is why we need to practice this and don't just have it together immediately.

In my two blog posts (1st one, 2nd one) and videos about playing with a metronome, I spoke in a general way about how important it is to get your time and feel together, but I didn't really question why people have bad time to start with.

Why do some people rush when they play? Why do some people drag?

Well, apparently a smart German physician named Karl von Vierordt figured this out in 1868 and even has a law (Vierordt's Law) named after him explaining the phenomenon.

The short of it is: if a tempo is below about 110bpm, you'll tend to rush and want to push it there. If a tempo is faster than about 110bpm, you'll tend to drag and want to pull it back.

Now you can blame your brain for your lousy time.

Give a listen to the podcast, it's relatively short and if you're a musician or even a fan of music it's a great listen.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Fyi the name of the podcast is "Speedy Beet" Published on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 05:00 PM