A neurologically plausible model of the auditory perception of musical sequences is proposed, and some implications are derived for auditory imagery. In line with a cognitive neuroscience approach, a componential analysis of the major functions required of auditory perception and imagery for musical sequences is first carried out, and a minimal model of auditory imagery and perception is outlined. The minimal model makes a clear distinction between the processing subsystems required for analyzing pitch and rhythm. It also incorporates an auditory buffer for the brief retention of relatively unprocessed auditory input, an attention subsystem that permits selective intake of relevant auditory information, a memory subsystem for melodic strings that combines the outputs of pitch and rhythmic analyses into a long-term, flexible representation of the musical sequence, and an associative memory system that links the results of perceptual analyses of music with extraperceptual (semantic and episodic) information about the musical string. The present theory builds on a recent model of music perception proposed by Peretz (1993) and also accounts for data from studies of patients with disorders of rhythmic processing, thus indicating the close relationship between auditory perception and imagery for rhythmic sequences, timing, and motor processes. Recent data are used to refine and extend the minimal model and provide an organizing framework for current laboratory work.