Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Duration: Time 
93 
the upper limit for speed of action, but rather in the fineness of the 
control of time and action which is involved in musical interpreta¬ 
tion. The problem for the musician is not so much, “How fast can I 
move my fingers?” but rather, “How accurately can I make fine 
time distinctions in the movement?” 
Music is a form of “serial action”; that is, the time value of a 
note depends upon its integration in the melodic and harmonic 
progression. Therefore, measurement of skill and talent for time 
must be validated in relation to the types of function that actually 
occur in music. These may take countless forms. All our perform¬ 
ance scores are measures of this sort. The record of an arpeggio at 
high speed is a good measure. The complete record of artistic devia¬ 
tion in time is by far the most significant. For specific purposes, 
record of capacity for performance in metronomic time may also 
have some value. 
Motility represents one of the standard psychological measure¬ 
ments of capacity. The test has been standardized by Ream,107 
and he has evaluated the extensive literature on the subject crit¬ 
ically. The standard form of measurement is to tap with a finger on 
a telegraph key which records the speed. A simpler way is merely to 
tap with a minimum movement with a pencil held in the most 
favorable position and count how many taps can be made in 5 
seconds. But for practical purposes the test should be on a move¬ 
ment which is identical with, or analogous to, the movement that is 
to be predicted. Thus, for the prediction of speed of movement in 
piano playing, the motility test might well be made by recording 
the rate of tapping a piano key with one finger. 
There is a slow improvement with practice. Ream found that, in 
20 days of intensive practice in the act, the average for six normal 
adults on the first day was 8.5 taps per second, and that this rose 
gradually to 9.3 taps on the twentieth day. Men average one-half 
tap per second faster than women. The rate of tapping increases 
with age: age five, 3.8; age six, 4.4; age seven, 4.6; age eight, 5.5; 
age nine, 5.8; age ten, 6.3. 
Numerous investigations have been made of the relation of 
motility to various forms of intelligence and efficiency in various 
acts of practical skills in art and in industry. It is found that a 
certain degree of prediction can be made if the measure of motility 
takes the age and learning curves into account and is made in a 
closely related form of movement; that is, for a particular type of
        

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