The cognitive theory of conceptual blending may be employed to understand the way music becomes meaningful and, at the same time, it may form a basis for musical creativity per se. This work constitutes a case study whereby conceptual blending is used as a creative tool for inventing musical cadences. Specifically, the perfect and the renaissance Phrygian cadential sequences are used as input spaces to a cadence blending system that produces various cadential blends based on musicological and blending optimality criteria. A selection of “novel” cadences is subject to empirical evaluation in order to gain a better understanding of perceptual relationships between cadences. Pairwise dissimilarity ratings between cadences are transformed into a perceptual space and a verbal attribute magnitude estimation method on six descriptive axes (preference, originality, tension, closure, expectancy, and fit) is used to associate the dimensions of this space with descriptive qualities (closure and tension emerged as the most prominent qualities). The novel cadences generated by the computational blending system are mainly perceived as single-scope blends (i.e., blends where one input space is dominant), since categorical perception seems to play a significant role (especially in relation to the upward leading note movement). Insights into perceptual aspects of conceptual bending are presented and ramifications for developing sophisticated creative systems are discussed.
Creating Musical Cadences via Conceptual Blending: Empirical Evaluation and Enhancement of a Formal Model
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Asterios Zacharakis, Maximos Kaliakatsos-Papakostas, Costas Tsougras, Emilios Cambouropoulos; Creating Musical Cadences via Conceptual Blending: Empirical Evaluation and Enhancement of a Formal Model. Music Perception 1 December 2017; 35 (2): 211–234. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2017.35.2.211
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