27 October 2017, Music Cognition Reading Group, Peter Harrison
The notion of representation is crucial for understanding Western tonal harmony. We investigate the explanatory power of different harmony representations in a series of computational studies, analyzing large datasets of classical, popular, and jazz music. The results demonstrate the structural importance of many representations from music psychology and music theory, with structural importance varying as a function of musical genre. Combining these representations into one statistical model allows considerably more accurate characterizations of harmonic structure. The results have implications for music theory, music information retrieval, and music psychology.