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Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 June 2021

Perceiving Melodies

Perceiving Melodies

(p.151) 10 Perceiving Melodies
Musical Understandings and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Music

Stephen Davies

Oxford University Press

The visual perception of objects and events and the audible perception of melodies are comparable with respect to the recognitions involved. Observers can identify objects presented at different orientations and can frequently identify an item as the same despite changes in its appearance, for example by ageing. These cases are paralleled in music listening. Thematic ideas can (sometimes, but not inevitably) be recognized when they are inverted or played backwards. In addition, within music it is crucial that various musical statements, including ones that differ in their intervallic sequence, are sometimes recognized as versions of a single theme.

Keywords:   music, melody, inversion, recognition, audible perception, ageing

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