Primary versus secondary musical parameters and the classification of melodic motives

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dc.contributor.author Eitan, Zohar
dc.contributor.author Granot, Roni Y.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-12-22T11:10:18Z
dc.date.available 2009-12-22T11:10:18Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Eitan, Z. & Granot, R. Y. (2009). Primary versus secondary musical parameters and the classification of melodic motives. Musicae Scientiae, Discussion Forum 4B, 139-179.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/22624
dc.description.abstract Music theorists often maintain that motivic categorization in music is determined by primary musical parameters music-specific aspects of pitch and temporal structure, like pitch intervals or metric hierarchies, serving as bases for musical syntax. In contrast, secondary parameters, including important aspects of extra-musical auditory perception like loudness, pitch register and timbre, do not establish motivic categories. We examined systematically the effects of contrasts in primary vis-à-vis secondary musical parameters on listeners melodic classification. Matrices of melodic patterns, each presenting 8 motives, were created by all interactions of two contrasting conditions in three musical features. In Experiment 1, four matrices manipulated pitch contour, pitch-interval class, and a compound feature involving the secondary parameters of dynamics, pitch register and articulation. In Experiment 2, four different matrices manipulated rhythmic structure (metrical and durational accent), pitch intervals, and the compound feature used in Exp1. Participants (95 participants, 27 musically trained, in Exp. 1; 88 participants, 23 musically trained, in Exp. 2) classified stimuli in each matrix into two equal-numbered (4-4) groups of motives belonging together. In both experiments, most participants used contrast in secondary parameters as a basis for classification, while few classifications relied on differences in pitch interval (Exp. 2) or interval class (Exp. 1). Classifications by musically trained participants also applied melodic contour and rhythm. Results suggest a hierarchy of musical parameters that challenges those suggested by most music theorists. We discuss the ramifications of the results for notions of perceived thematic-motivic structure in music, and consequentially for cognitively-informed music analysis. en
dc.language.iso eng en
dc.subject.other musical motives en
dc.subject.other categorization en
dc.subject.other secondary parameters en
dc.subject.other pitch en
dc.subject.other rhythm en
dc.title Primary versus secondary musical parameters and the classification of melodic motives en
dc.type Article en

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