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ERIC Number: EJ1003820
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7356
Musical Expectancy in Atonal Contexts: Musicians' Perception of "Antistructure"
Ockelford, Adam; Sergeant, Desmond
Psychology of Music, v41 n2 p139-174 Mar 2013
Two exploratory studies examine how 12-tone rows are processed cognitively. Tone-rows use each pitch-class once, and were devised by the composer Arnold Schoenberg as a way of structuring music in the absence of tonality, an approach subsequently known as "serialism". One form of "antistructure" implied in the design of tone-rows--eschewal of pitch repetition--is explored using the "probe-tone" method, where subjects rate how well a pitch stimulus fits in a given context. The results support the finding of Krumhansl, Sandell and Sergeant that listeners can detect--and come to expect--the avoidance of pitch repetition. This cognitive strategy is modelled using Ockelford's "zygonic" theory of music-structural understanding. A further study examines the second form "antistructure" implicit in serialist thinking (though not always adhered to in practice): the avoidance of patterns of intervals that give rise to a sense of key in suitably encultured listeners. Here, the discrepancies between the outputs of the zygonic model and the probe-tone ratings suggest that, despite the structural atonality, tonal schemata may also feature in the listening experience. These are evaluated using supplementary data gathered in a task where subjects were asked to identify potential "tonal flecks" in tone-row segments. (Contains 6 tables, 17 figures and 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A