Home » Pubblicazioni » Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale (RATM) » Anno 2004/2 » Parametri musicali e immagini cinetiche

Parametri musicali e immagini cinetiche

Zohar Eitan, Roni Y. Granot - pag. 15-33

This paper presents an empirical investigation of the ways listeners associate
changes in musical parameters with physical space and bodily motion. In the ex-
periments reported, participants were asked to associate melodic stimuli with im-
agined motions of a human character and to specify the type, direction, and pace
change of these motions, as well as the forces affecting them. Musical parameters
manipulated included dynamics, pitch direction, pitch intervals, attack rate, and
articulation. Results indicate that most musical parameters significantly affect sev-
eral dimensions of motion imagery. For instance, pitch contour affected imagined
motion along all three spatial axes (not only verticality), as well as the velocity and
“energy.” Surprisingly, musical-spatial analogies are often asymmetrical, as a musi-
cal change in one direction evokes a significantly stronger spatial analogy than its
opposite. Such asymmetries include even the entrenched association of pitch
change and spatial verticality, which applies mosdy to pitch descents, but only
weakly to ascents. In general, musical abatements are strongly associated with spa-
tial descents, while musical intensifications are generally associated with increasing
speed, rather than ascent. The implications of these results for notions of perceived
musical space and for accounts of expressive musical gesture are discussed.

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