Music and patterns

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Benjamin Brent Rawls (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
J. Kent Williams

Abstract: This paper examines and compares three theorists' treatments of the overtone series and their influence on concepts of tonality such as scale construction and chord roots. Special attention is paid to Ernst Terhardt's assertions that listeners are aware of the overtone series as an auditory pattern and that their brains can recognize and complete partial instances of that pattern. This paper also examines the Terhardt and Parncutt models for calculating chord roots and explores the concepts underlying them. Both models are comparatively evaluated based on the results they return for three different chords. Finally, this paper offers some ideas on altering the curriculum of an undergraduate music theory classroom to more closely align with the psychoacoustical research discussed throughout, including examples of how to properly contextualize and diminish the prominence of misleading analytical tools and how to introduce overtone pattern recognition principles and the Parncutt model to undergraduate students.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Overtone series, Tonality, Terhardt models, Parncutt models, Scale construction, Chord roots
Harmonics (Music) $x Research
Music theory $x Research
Music $x Acoustics and physics $x Research
Tonality $x Research

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