Perceptual Strength of Musical Dimensions (Michael C Frengel Adv99 )

Subject: Perceptual Strength of Musical Dimensions
From:    Michael C Frengel Adv99               <Michael.C.Frengel.Adv99(at)ALUM.DARTMOUTH.ORG>
Date:    Fri, 14 Nov 2003 11:22:37 EST

Hello - I am looking for research on the *relative* perceptual strengths of different musical dimensions (frequency, duration, loudness, timbre, location). It seems that when interpreting sectional musical forms, if the various dimensions suggest conflicting segmentational structures then the listener will use the one provided by the perceptually stronger dimension. A simple example: at a given point in a musical surface, if the timbre dimension suggests a segmentation (a change of musical section) but the pitch dimension does not (ie. the same melody continues) then it is unlikely that listeners will interpret a sectional change. The idea that pitch and rhythm are the primary dimensions of music, while timbre, loudness and location are secondary has been proposed by many composers/musicians, but is there experimental evidence to support this? Any help would be appreciated. Regards, Mike

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