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Tonal Pitch Space$
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Fred Lerdahl

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195178296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178296.001.0001

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Theoretical Foundations

Theoretical Foundations

(p.3) 1 Theoretical Foundations
Tonal Pitch Space

Fred Lerdahl

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the goals, idealizations, and rule system of the predecessor volume, A Generative Theory of Tonal Music, whose overall goal is to model and explain the musical intuitions of an experienced listener. The theory assumes the musical surface and idealizes to final-state listening. Features of well-formedness and preference rules are reviewed. The components of grouping structure, metrical structure, time-span segmentation, time-span reduction, and prolongational reduction are presented through an analysis of a Bach chorale. Particular attention is paid to the derivation of prolongational structure. On this foundation, ideas within the framework of the prolongational theory are advanced, including prolongational good form, the strict-branching constraint, polyphonic groupings, and abstractions and transformations of underlying events.

Keywords:   preference rules, grouping structure, metrical structure, time-span reduction, prolongational reduction, prolongational good form, transformations

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