By the time you’ve finished reading this article you’ll probably feel as though you’ve been reading science fiction. Yet it often happens that enquiring into the nature of things we hardly notice, day in day out, reveals the oddest things imaginable. And in certain instances, music can facilitate such an enquiry.

Not just a tick

In his book The Mind’s Eye, the late British neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote “there is certainly a universal and unconscious propensity to impose a rhythm even...

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