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October 2021

Melodic expectation in Finnish spiritual folk hymns: Convergence of statistical, behavioral, and computational approaches

Author(s): Louhivuori, J., Toiviainen, P., Jarvinen, T., Eerola, T.

Journal/Book: Music Percept. 1999; 17: Journals Dept 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Univ Calif Press. 151-195.

Abstract: This study of Finnish spiritual folk hymns combined three approaches to understanding melodic expectation. The first approach was a statistical style analysis of a representative corpus of 18 hymns, which determined the relative frequencies of tone onsets and two- and three-tone transitions. The second approach was a behavioral experiment in which listeners, either familiar (experts) or unfamiliar (nonexperts) with the hymns, made judgments about melodic continuations. The third approach simulated melodic expectation with neural network models of the self-organizing map (SOM) type (Kohonen, 1997). One model was trained on a corpus of Finnish folk songs and Lutheran hymns (Finnish SOM), while another was trained with the hymn contexts used in the experiment with the correct continuation tone (Hymn SOM). The three approaches converged on the following conclusions: (1) Listeners appear to be sensitive to the distributions of tones and tone transitions in music, (2) The nonexperts' responses more strongly reflected the general distribution of tones, whereas the experts' responses more strongly reflected the tone transitions and the correct continuations, (3) The SOMs produced results similar to listeners and also appeared sensitive to the distributions of tones and tone transitions, (4) The Hymn SOM correlated more strongly with the experts' judgments than the Finnish SOM, and (5) the principles of the implication-realization model (Narmour, 1990) were weighted similarly by the behavioral data and the Hymn SOM.

Note: Article Krumhansl CL, Cornell Univ, Dept Psychol, Uris Hall, Ithaca,NY 14853 USA


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