RECENT STUDIES CONCERNING "musical forces" suggest that listeners of tonal music may understand, experience, and create that music (in part) through a metaphorical process that maps physical motion onto musical motion. These studies argue that musical motion is shaped by a "musical gravity," a "musical magnetism," and a "musical inertia" that are analogous to their physical counterparts. The studies also found a variety of types of evidence (the distribution of patterns within compositions, improvisations, and analyses; the behavior of computer models of melodic expectation; and the responses of participants in psychological experiments). However, none of this evidence quantifies how the interaction of musical forces might account for listeners' judgments of the dynamic tendencies of notes within heard melodic patterns. This article complements and extends these studies in three ways. First, we show how a reexamination of the metaphorical bases of the forces leads to a number of hypotheses to be tested. Second, we report an experiment that tested those hypotheses by asking listeners specifically to make judgments about the experienced "strength" of presented pattern completions. Third, we report a content analysis of the distribution of the same patterns within in Schenker's Five Graphic Music Analyses.
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Research Article| December 01 2005
Measuring Musical Forces:
Music Perception (2005) 23 (2): 119–136.
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Steve Larson, Leigh Vanhandel; Measuring Musical Forces: . Music Perception 1 December 2005; 23 (2): 119–136. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2005.23.2.119
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