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Cognitive constraints on compositional systems

Cognitive constraints on compositional systems In this article I explore the relationship between composing and listening. I begin with a problematic story, draw some general conclusions, introduce relevant concepts from Lerdahl and Jackendoff (1983) and related work, propose some cognitive constraints on compositional systems, discuss “pitch space”, and explain why serial (or 12-tone) organizations are cognitively opaque. Most of these topics deserve fuller treatment than is given in these pages. My concern here is just to lay out a basic, if wide-ranging, argument. I am not interested in passing judgement on the composers and compositions that are mentioned, particularly not on the remarkable work by Boulez that I use as a representative example. The thrust of my argument is psychological rather than aesthetic. But since aesthetic issues inevitably impinge on the discussion, I treat them briefly at the end. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Music Review Taylor & Francis

Cognitive constraints on compositional systems

Contemporary Music Review , Volume 6 (2): 25 – Jan 1, 1992

Cognitive constraints on compositional systems

Contemporary Music Review , Volume 6 (2): 25 – Jan 1, 1992

Abstract

In this article I explore the relationship between composing and listening. I begin with a problematic story, draw some general conclusions, introduce relevant concepts from Lerdahl and Jackendoff (1983) and related work, propose some cognitive constraints on compositional systems, discuss “pitch space”, and explain why serial (or 12-tone) organizations are cognitively opaque. Most of these topics deserve fuller treatment than is given in these pages. My concern here is just to lay out a basic, if wide-ranging, argument. I am not interested in passing judgement on the composers and compositions that are mentioned, particularly not on the remarkable work by Boulez that I use as a representative example. The thrust of my argument is psychological rather than aesthetic. But since aesthetic issues inevitably impinge on the discussion, I treat them briefly at the end.

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References (48)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH
ISSN
1477-2256
eISSN
0749-4467
DOI
10.1080/07494469200640161
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this article I explore the relationship between composing and listening. I begin with a problematic story, draw some general conclusions, introduce relevant concepts from Lerdahl and Jackendoff (1983) and related work, propose some cognitive constraints on compositional systems, discuss “pitch space”, and explain why serial (or 12-tone) organizations are cognitively opaque. Most of these topics deserve fuller treatment than is given in these pages. My concern here is just to lay out a basic, if wide-ranging, argument. I am not interested in passing judgement on the composers and compositions that are mentioned, particularly not on the remarkable work by Boulez that I use as a representative example. The thrust of my argument is psychological rather than aesthetic. But since aesthetic issues inevitably impinge on the discussion, I treat them briefly at the end.

Journal

Contemporary Music ReviewTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 1992

Keywords: cognitive constraints; compositional systems; musical grammar; pitch space; serialism

There are no references for this article.