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This chapter examines some of the ways in which sound unfolds in time, from the fundamental nature of sound as a perishable, passing event to the present perfect of sounds as memory traces and the ways in which technologies of recording or “fixation” have changed our relationship to sonic temporality. It considers how listeners divide up, totalize, and otherwise grasp—or fail to grasp—sounds in terms of duration. It also examines nondurational aspects of sonic experience such as rhythm, repetition, harmonic structures, progressions that allow for the foreseeability of sonic structures, high-pitched or acute sounds that elicit vigilance and a sense of presence, and ultramusical givens such as macro- and microrhythms (respiration, ebbs and flows).

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