Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cognitive Foundations of Musical Pitch$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Carol L. Krumhansl

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148367

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148367.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 March 2019

A key-finding algorithm based on tonal hierarchies

A key-finding algorithm based on tonal hierarchies

(p.77) 4 A key-finding algorithm based on tonal hierarchies
Cognitive Foundations of Musical Pitch

Carol L. Krumhansl

Oxford University Press

The last chapter showed that the experimentally measured tonal hierarchies correlate strongly with the distribution of tones in tonal-harmonic music. This suggested that the tonal hierarchies might be acquired through experience with the musical style, particularly through internalizing the relative frequencies and durations with which tones are sounded. The question is turned around in this chapter. Here it is asked whether listeners could use the tonal hierarchies, once acquired, to determine the key of particular musical selections. The basic idea is that the tonal hierarchies function as a kind of template against which the tones of the musical selection are matched. This pattern-matching process is modeled by a computer algorithm — written in collaboration with Mark Schmuckler — which is applied to a variety of musical segments. To the extent that the key-finding algorithm produces correct results, it strengthens the case that pattern-matching to tonal hierarchies may be one mechanism through which listeners arrive at a sense of key.

Keywords:   musical tone, tonal hierarchy, musical keys, musical selection, algorithm

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .