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Re: Req: pitch-to-physical space mappings, refs

>From Bruce Walker:
>So I gues it comes down to this: How spatial is the pitch space?

There is an epistemological aspect to this question which has been
studied by Marie-Elisabeth Duchez who has traced the words and
concepts used to rationalize pitch relations from the ancient
Greeks through the modern Western tradition. "Spatialization" of
pitch relations would appear to have arisen in the 9th-10th
centuries with the development of notational schemes, but the notion
of pitch "height" only really became accepted in the 17th century
after much debate. Thus pitch as space is a metaphoric convention of
relatively recent invention and would thus not be likely to have a
biological basis.

Duchez, M.-E. (1989) An historical and epistemological approach
to the musical notion of "form-bearing" element. Contemporary
Music Review, 4, 199-213.

Ask a young violinist to play a given note "higher" and they will
probably raise the whole violin. Ask a cellist to play the note
higher and they have to decrease the height of their hand. An so
on and so forth.

Stephen McAdams
IRCAM, 1 place Igor-Stravinsky, F-75004 Paris, France
tel: (33 1) 4478-4838, fax (33 1) 4478-1540