918 research outputs found

    Emergentism and musicology: an alternative perspective to the understanding of dissonance.

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    In this paper we develop an approach to musicology within the discussion of emergentism. First of all, we claim that some theories of musicology could be insufficient in describing and explaining musical phenomena when emergent properties are not taken into account. Actually, musicology usually considers just syntactical elements, structures and processes and puts only a little emphasis, if any, over perceptual aspects of human hearing. On the other hand, recent research efforts are currently being directed towards an understanding of the emergent properties of auditory perception, especially in fields such as cognitive science. Such research leads to other views concerning old issues in musicology and could create a fruitful approach, filling the gap between musicology and auditory perception

    Music in the first days of life

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    In adults, specific neural systems with right-hemispheric weighting are necessary to process pitch, melody and harmony, as well as structure and meaning emerging from musical sequences. To which extent does this neural specialization result from exposure to music or from neurobiological predispositions? We used fMRI to measure brain activity in 1 to 3 days old newborns while listening to Western tonal music, and to the same excerpts altered, so as to include tonal violations or dissonance. Music caused predominant right hemisphere activations in primary and higher-order auditory cortex. For altered music, activations were seen in the left inferior frontal cortex and limbic structures. Thus, the newborn's brain is able to plenty receive music and to figure out even small perceptual and structural differences in the music sequences. This neural architecture present at birth provides us the potential to process basic and complex aspects of music, a uniquely human capacity

    From Korngold to the Movies: Korngold\u27s Influence on Film Scores

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    During the 1920s, a new cultural movement called Neue Sachlichkeit (or New Objectivity) was developing in Germany and Austria. During the rise of Nazi Germany, the Neue Sachlichkeit movement protested by bringing back elements of the Romantic era in art, literature and music. One of the most recognizable composers of this time was Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897 – 1957). Today’s listeners often hear Korngold’s concert works as being very similar to contemporary film scores; but in reality, Korngold wrote in his very distinctive harmonic and melodic style from the beginning of his career, before film scores came to be, and before he himself turned to film composition. In a word, then: Korngold’s music does not sound like a film score, but rather, film scores sound like Korngold

    An exploration on whole-body and foot-based vibrotactile sensitivity to melodic consonance

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    Consonance is a distinctive attribute of musical sounds, for which a psychophysical explanation has been found leading to the critical band perceptual model. Recently this model has been hypothesized to play a role also during tactile perception. In this paper the sensitivity to vibrotactile consonance was subjectively tested in musicians and non-musicians. Before the test, both such groups listened to twelve melodic intervals played with a bass guitar. After being acoustically isolated, participants were exposed to the same intervals in the form of either a whole-body or foot-based vibrotactile stimulus. On each trial they had to identify whether an interval was ascending, descending or unison. Musicians were additionally asked to label every interval using standard musical nomenclature. The intervals identification as well as their labeling was above chance, but became progressively more uncertain for decreasing consonance and when the stimuli were presented underfoot. Musicians\u2019 labeling of the stimuli was incorrect when dissonant vibrotactile intervals were presented underfoot. Compared to existing literature on auditory, tactile and multisensory perception, our results reinforce the idea that vibrotactile musical consonance plays a perceptual role in both musicians and non-musicians. Might this role be the result of a process occurring at central and/or peripheral level, involving or not activation of the auditory cortex, concurrent reception from selective somatosensory channels, correlation with residual auditory information reaching the basilar membrane through bone conduction, is a question our preliminary exploration leaves open to further research work

    Asynchronous Preparation of Tonally Fused Intervals in Polyphonic Music

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    An analysis of a sample of polyphonic keyboard works by J.S. Bach shows that synchronous note onsets are avoided for those harmonic intervals that most promote tonal fusion (such as unison, fifths and octaves). This pattern is consistent with perceptual research showing an interaction between onset synchrony and tonal fusion in the formation of auditory streams (e.g., Vos, 1995). The results provide further support for the notion that polyphonic music is organized so as to facilitate the perceptual independence of the concurrent parts

    Exploring the relationship between music consonance and tonal fusion

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    openIn the nineteenth century K. Stumpf proposed tonal fusion as the main cause of consonance in music. Many theories have been proposed after his contribution, and still the phenomenon has to be entirely explained. Considering past evidence and divergent theories, in this dissertation an experimental approach is applied to the two phenomena. The aim is to explore the possible relationship between tonal fusion and consonance.In the nineteenth century K. Stumpf proposed tonal fusion as the main cause of consonance in music. Many theories have been proposed after his contribution, and still the phenomenon has to be entirely explained. Considering past evidence and divergent theories, in this dissertation an experimental approach is applied to the two phenomena. The aim is to explore the possible relationship between tonal fusion and consonance

    Deconstructing Chaos: The Role of Pitch Hierarchy in Music Perception

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    During the early twentieth century, art music composers pushed Western tonality to the limits and eventually abandoned tonality altogether, creating a system that treated every pitch equally. This atonal system broke down all keys and harmonic progressions that are cornerstones of Western musical pitch hierarchy. Through an extensive review of current literature, this research aims to show that the concept of hierarchy, present in tonal but not atonal music, is central to music perception. This presentation will explore the role hierarchy in music perception through several means: examining the physical nature of sound on a mathematical basis, determining innate structures of music perception and investigating the neurobiology of tonal perception. Research will also seek to understand structural aspects of atonal music and how these structures are perceived, with the final conclusion that atonal musical structures do not facilitate music perception to the same degree as tonal structures since they lack fundamental pitch hierarchy
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