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Music cognition student colloquium series 2014/2015 - first meeting

  • Music Cognition Student Colloquium
When Sep 25, 2014
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where A832, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke St. West.
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First Music Cognition Student Colloquium meeting of the 2014/2015 academic year

The CIRMMT Music Cognition Student Colloquium is a forum open to all graduate students and post-docs interested in  discussing their work with a wider audience. All contributions related to music cognition and auditory perception are welcome, including work in progress, papers presented at recent conferences and those to be presented at forthcoming conferences. 

Wine and cheese to follow



David Sears 

PhD Candidate in Music Theory, Music Perception and Cognition Lab, McGill University

The Half Cadence as a Closing Schema: A Corpus Study of Haydn's String Quartets

In the history of music theory, the concept of the half cadence has received considerable attention in the scholarly community. Yet in spite of such intense theoretical scrutiny, it remains unclear how half cadences are perceived in the context of music listening. This paper presents a corpus of cadences from the classical style to consider whether these patterns serve as mental representations for listeners who are familiar with classical music. To that end, I created a corpus of 50 sonata-form expositions derived from Haydn's string quartets. Along with the score, I have also annotated scale degrees, modulations, cadences for which the cadential arrival is present (i.e., perfect authentic, imperfect authentic, half, deceptive, and evaded), and inter-thematic functions. I first consider whether the harmonic progressions and scale-degree patterns frequently associated with cadences serve as syntactic constituents for closing schemata. Next, I examine a number of rhetorical parameters associated with cadences- e.g., a trill above the penultimate dominant, a cadential six-four-to consider whether they serve as signposts for the larger form in Haydn's compositional style.


Charalampos Saitis 

Postdoctoral Fellow, Computational Acoustics Modeling Laboratory, McGill University

Categorization and lexicon in verbal descriptions of violin quality by performers

This work aimed to explore how violin quality is conceptualized as reflected in spontaneous verbal descriptions by experienced performers collected while playing in a perceptual evaluation experiment. Participants performed a preference ranking task and justified their perceptions in a free verbalization task. Using the constant comparison analysis from grounded theory, a concept map was developed, which can be useful for future studies aimed at assessing violin qualities. A psycholinguistic analysis of the quality-descriptive lexicon used by violinists further revealed a variety of linguistic devices referring to either the sound of a violin or to the violin itself as the cognitive objects. Adjectives for the description of sound characteristics are largely borrowed from four semantic fields related to texture-temperature (smooth vs. rough), action-presence (resonant vs. muted), size-volume (deep vs. flat), and light (dark vs. bright). These semantic fields indicate what type of dimensions may explain the perception of violin timbre, contributing to the area of violin acoustics research as well as to the broader area of timbre research. Some acoustical interpretations are discussed in the context of finding correlations between measurable vibrational properties of a violin and its perceived quality.)



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