Scholars of music and dance have subtly different conceptions of musical time, which can lead to misunderstandings in interdisciplinary communication. These conceptual distinctions may be rooted in the embodied experience of performance: the energy required to create dance through whole-body displacement is different in kind from that required to create music through displacement of air molecules. The essay focuses on different conceptions of beats, of the counting numbers that represent them, of precise temporal regularity, and of the relationship between meter and phrasing.

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