Tracking Levels of Closure in Melodies
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We computationally implemented the conditions of closure posited in Narmour's Implication-Realisation (I-R) theory, and evaluated how well these formally defined notions of melodic closure align with points of structural closure - phrase ends and score ends - in the Essen folksong corpus. We found three of the conditions, those relating to durational, metric and tonal resolution, were positively correlated with points of structural closure, and that a combined closure measure calculated from a weighted combination of these individual measures had a strong relationship with structural closure. We suggest this provides evidence supporting the I-R theory's claim that points of positive congruence in these measures can give rise to a sense of repose or completion, or closure in the sense of Gestalt psychology. We provide further detail regarding the strength and independence of the individual conditions in this regard. We conclude that these computationally tractable measures may be of benefit in automated segmentation tasks.
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
Musicology and Ethnomusicology