Asynchronous Preparation of Tonally Fused Intervals in Polyphonic Music
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Publisher:Empirical Musicology Review
Citation:Empirical Musicology Review, v3 n1 (January 2008), 11-21
An analysis of a sample of polyphonic keyboard works by J.S. Bach shows that synchronous note onsets are avoided for those harmonic intervals that most promote tonal fusion (such as unison, fifths and octaves). This pattern is consistent with perceptual research showing an interaction between onset synchrony and tonal fusion in the formation of auditory streams (e.g., Vos, 1995). The results provide further support for the notion that polyphonic music is organized so as to facilitate the perceptual independence of the concurrent parts.
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