34,356 research outputs found

    Tonal music theory: A psychoacoustic explanation?

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    From the seventeenth century to the present day, tonal harmonic music has had a number of invariant properties such as the use of specific chord progressions (cadences) to induce a sense of closure, the asymmetrical privileging of certain progressions, and the privileging of the major and minor scales. The most widely accepted explanation has been that this is due to a process of enculturation: frequently occurring musical patterns are learned by listeners, some of whom become composers and replicate the same patterns, which go on to influence the next “generation” of composers, and so on. In this paper, however, I present a possible psychoacoustic explanation for some important regularities of tonal-harmonic music. The core of the model is two different measures of pitch-based distance between chords. The first is voice-leading distance; the second is spectral pitch distance—a measure of the distance between the partials in one chord compared to those in another chord. I propose that when a pair of triads has a higher spectral distance than another pair of triads that is voice-leading-close, the former pair is heard as an alteration of the latter pair, and seeks resolution. I explore the extent to which this model can predict the familiar tonal cadences described in music theory (including those containing tritone substitutions), and the asymmetries that are so characteristic of tonal harmony. I also show how it may be able to shed light upon the privileged status of the major and minor scales (over the modes)

    Graph theoretic aspects of music theory

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    The cycle on twelve points is a well-known representation of the twelve pitch classes of the traditional scale. We treat a more general situation where the number of pitch classes can be different from twelve and where, moreover, other measures of closeness are taken into account. We determine all situations for which the Generalized Hexachord Theorem continues to hold. \u

    JamBot: Music Theory Aware Chord Based Generation of Polyphonic Music with LSTMs

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    We propose a novel approach for the generation of polyphonic music based on LSTMs. We generate music in two steps. First, a chord LSTM predicts a chord progression based on a chord embedding. A second LSTM then generates polyphonic music from the predicted chord progression. The generated music sounds pleasing and harmonic, with only few dissonant notes. It has clear long-term structure that is similar to what a musician would play during a jam session. We show that our approach is sensible from a music theory perspective by evaluating the learned chord embeddings. Surprisingly, our simple model managed to extract the circle of fifths, an important tool in music theory, from the dataset.Comment: Paper presented at the 29th International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, ICTAI 2017, Boston, MA, US

    Diversifying Music Theory

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    This article is part of a special forum titled “Ethnic Diversity in Music Theory: Voices from the Field.” It begins with a narrative description of the author’s qualifying exam in tonal analysis for the Ph.D. program in music theory at Yale University. During the exam, which he failed, the author produced a hermeneutic interpretation of Brahms’s song “Der Gang zum Liebchen,” op. 48/1. The author then uses this experience as a point of departure from which to reflect upon issues of racial/ethnic diversity within Anglo-American music theory. Navigating between racial essentialism and race-blind universalism, the author offers critiques of statements by the Society for Music Theory (SMT) Diversity Committee, of official statements by the SMT leadership on diversity, and of the primarily Western musical orientation of current theory pedagogy. The article ends by situating academic diversity issues within the economic structure of the neoliberal university

    The Western reception of Sergei Taneyev

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    Sergei Taneyev is not a common name in Western musicology. Short studies of his theoretical writings include Allen Forte’s critical review of New Grove (1982), Ellon Carpenter’s survey in Russian Theoretical Thought in Music (1983), and Catherine Nolan’s chapter ‘Music Theory and Mathematics’ from The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory (2002). However, an English-language monograph on Taneyev has yet to be published. This paper focuses on the missed opportunity of Taneyev’s contrapuntal theory within the theory of Western music. First published in 1909, his ‘Moveable Counterpoint’ treatise pioneered a rigorously theoretical approach to the study of an esoteric contrapuntal device, which substantially precedes parallel thought outside of Russia. I address the following questions: what is the value of this treatise today? And how might Taneyev’s work be developed to heighten our awareness of contrapuntal procedures

    Our Varying Histories and Future Potential: Models and Maps in Science, the Humanities, and in Music Theory

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    Part 1 briefly recounts the influence of social unrest and the explosion of knowledge in both psychology and the humanities circa 1970-1990. As the sciences rely on explicit top-down theories connected to bottom-up maps and models, and whereas the humanities build on bottom-up differences within malleable top-down “theories” (approaches, themes, theses, programs, methods, etc.), the changes in the sciences during this period contrasted sharply with the changes in the humanities. Part 2 discusses in detail how these two social transformations affected the histories of music theory and cognitive music theory. The former fractiously withdrew from its parent organization (AMS), whereas the latter was welcomed into SMPC. Inasmuch as both music theory and cognitive music theory rely on maps and models, Part 3 examines the metatheoretical importance of these terms for music cognition, music theory, and cognitive music theory. Part 4 speculates about the future—how music cognition, cognitive music theory, and music theory contribute to the structure of musical knowledge. The intellectual potential of this unique triadic collaboration is discussed: psychology provides a commanding empirical framework of the human mind, while music theory and cognitive music theory logically model moment-to-moment temporal emotions and the auditory intellections at the core of musical art

    The difficulties in learning music theory among music students in UiTM / Aeryna Fareez Khasri

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    This study discusses the difficulties in learning music theory among music students in UiTM. The objectives of this study are to identify the topic of music theory that students are weak in, to find out factors that music students are weak in learning music theory and to identify which method that could enhance their understanding of music theory. The method of instruments used for this study is interview which is in qualitative method. There are 6 students (2 males, 4 females) was selected to involved in these interviews. All the students was from Bachelor Degree in Music Education UiTM Shah Alam from semester 2,3 and 4. The interview consist of 3 section which was the first section require the respondent to answer the simple test of Music theory question. The purpose of the test was to observe student's current knowledge of simple music theory questions. The result shows that none of the respondent are able to answer all question correctly. The data gathered from the interviewed able to prove that students are indeed are having difficulties in learning music theory inside and outside class sessions

    Music Theory/Composition (MUCP)

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