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Tempo Levels

The consistently alternating dynamics in post 4…

… bring up and interesting perceptual dilemma. Namely, that they can be perceived as three simultaneous tempo levels.

Take the quarter-note triplets; simplify and repeat:

The notes marked forte can be perceived as downbeats, the piano notes as upbeats; this creates a half-speed tempo. While it’s less intuitive, the piano marking can also be perceived as the downbeat, with the forte sounding like a strong anticipation.

Both things occur simultaneously, much like the common image of the wineglass and/or two faces.

That gives us two half-speed tempos, along with the original  tempo. Three in one!

The ambiguity here creates a really interesting kind of tension as we flip between three different experiences.

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