The optimal musical pause : the effects of expectancies, musical training, and personality
DisciplineMusic, Mind and Technology (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology
The musical pause is an acoustic space between musical phrases, and is an important auditory quality because it can enhance tension by delaying the expected. It has been proposed that expectancies develop from long-term schematic knowledge learned through exposure; however, the dynamic attending theory indicates that expectancies arise from localized short-term knowledge found in the stimulus. This study aims to measure the optimal duration of the pause by assessing the influence of low-level musical features, long-term familiarity, musical ability, and personality. Musical excerpts were chosen from a variety of genres to include two phrases (separable by a silence), from which participants were asked to create and to rate the pauses. Results indicated that, while preferences and choices of pause durations were partially influenced by low-level features, they were more often affected by long-term schematic learning. Despite discrepancies in the relationship between the pause and metre, there was high consensus that pauses not exceeding three beats were favoured. Results also implied that expectations might change depending on the listening intent of the individual, which could have implications for perceptual differences between performer and audience. ...
Alternative titleEffects of expectancies, musical training, and personality
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