SEVERAL MODELS OF TIME ESTIMATION HAVE BEEN developed in psychology; a few have been applied to music. In the present study, we assess the influence of the distances travelled through pitch space on retrospective time estimation. Participants listened to an isochronous chord sequence of 20-s duration. They were unexpectedly asked to reproduce the time interval of the sequence. The harmonic structure of the stimulus was manipulated so that the sequence either remained in the same key (CC) or travelled through a closely related key (CFC) or distant key (CGbC). Estimated times were shortened when the sequence modulated to a very distant key. This finding is discussed in light of Lerdahl's Tonal Pitch Space Theory (2001), Firmino and Bueno's Expected Development Fraction Model (in press), and models of time estimation.
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