The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures
Winner of the 2003 Emerging Scholar Award, presented by the Society for Music Theory
In this book, David Temperley addresses a fundamental question about music cognition: how do we extract basic kinds of musical information, such as meter, phrase structure, counterpoint, pitch spelling, harmony, and key from music as we hear it? Taking a computational approach, Temperley develops models for generating these aspects of musical structure. The models he proposes are based on preference rules, which are criteria for evaluating a possible structural analysis of a piece of music. A preference rule system evaluates many possible interpretations and chooses the one that best satisfies the rules.
After an introductory chapter, Temperley presents preference rule systems for generating six basic kinds of musical structure: meter, phrase structure, contrapuntal structure, harmony, and key, as well as pitch spelling (the labeling of pitch events with spellings such as A flat or G sharp). He suggests that preference rule systems not only show how musical structures are inferred, but also shed light on other aspects of music. He substantiates this claim with discussions of musical ambiguity, retrospective revision, expectation, and music outside the Western canon (rock and traditional African music). He proposes a framework for the description of musical styles based on preference rule systems and explores the relevance of preference rule systems to higher-level aspects of music, such as musical schemata, narrative and drama, and musical tension.
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2 2 Previous Research on Metrical Analysis
Melodic Phrase Structure
Revision Ambiguity and Expectation
Meter Harmony and Tonality in Rock
Meter and Grouping in African Music
Style Composition and Performance
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accent African music algorithm ambiguity argue assume Bach Beatles best-so-far chapter chord chord-tones chromatic chromatic scale common-practice music compatibility rule computational consider context contrapuntal contrapuntal analysis correct current model Daniel Sleator diatonic scale discussed downbeat duple earlier eighth-note example excerpt extrametrical factor fugue G major Gm Gm Gm harmonic analysis important infrastructural interval key-finding key-profile kind Krumhansl labels length rule Lerdahl and Jackendoff line of fifths listeners measure melody meter metrical structure minor modulation motivic music cognition music theory notation notes ornamental dissonances parallelism passage penalty perception performance phrase boundary phrase structure piano-roll piece pitch variance rule pitch-class possible preference rule systems problem proposed quantized quarter-note rhythm rock root score seems segment shift shown in figure simply Sonata songs spelling stream suggests syllables syncopation tactus tactus level tempo tension tonal center tonic triad voice-leading voices Well-Tempered Clavier