Music Composition and Our Sense of Time
Common knowledge understands that musical attributes such as melodies, harmonies, and rhythms can affect our moods in a very real way. Less familiar to us is how they can warp our sense of time. We tend to think of time in terms of clocks and calendars — as regularly patterned grids dividing time into equal units. Our experience of time is actually very different than this. Time stretches and pulls in many different directions.
In an immersive concert situation, our sense of time is heavily influenced by the music we’re attending to. Using examples from my own work, I will show how our senses of anticipation, memory, and contextualization come into play when listening to music and how they can shape our experience of time. This discussion will be followed with an example where the audience participates in a group performance of a short piece.