Objective (Real, Absolute, Clock) Time

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Objective time (also called, variously, real time, absolute time, or clock time), as discussed in Kramer’s chapter on Music and Time, is the time we use on a day-to-day basis. It is characterized by “evenly” spaced units, such as minutes, hours, days, years, etc. and exists independently of human experience.

Thomas Clifton rejects objective time’s existence, though, positing that it is simply an arbitrary scale by which we presume to try and measure time “independently…of a ‘time sense’ whereby a person perceives this time” (Kramer, 5).