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October 2021

Music expectation by cognitive rule-mapping

Journal/Book: Music Percept. 2000; 17: Journals Dept 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Univ Calif Press. 329-398.

Abstract: Iterative rules appear everywhere in music cognition, creating strong expectations. Consequently, denial of rule projection becomes an important compositional strategy, generating numerous possibilities for musical affect. Other rules enter the musical aesthetic through reflexive game playing. Still other kinds are completely constructivist in nature and may be uncongenial to cognition, requiring much training to be recognized, if at all. Cognitive rules are frequently found in contexts of varied repetition (AA), but they are not necessarily bounded by stylistic similarity. Indeed, rules may be especially relevant in the processing of unfamiliar contexts (AB), where only abstract coding is available. There are many kinds of deduction in music cognition. Typical examples include melodic sequence, partial melodic sequence, and alternating melodic sequence (which produces streaming). These types may coexist in the musical fabric, involving the invocation of both simultaneous and nested rules. Intervallic expansion and reduction in melody also involve higher-order abstractions. Various mirrored forms in music entail rule-mapping as well, although these may be more difficult to perceive than their analogous visual symmetries. Listeners can likewise deduce additivity and subtractivity at work in harmony, tempo, texture, pace, and dynamics. Rhythmic augmentation and diminution, by contrast, rely on multiplication and division. The examples suggest numerous hypotheses for experimental research.

Note: Article Narmour E, Univ Penn, Dept Mus, 201 S 34th St, Philadelphia,PA 19081 USA


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