A Comparison of Average Pitch Height and Interval Size in Major- and Minor-key Themes: Evidence Consistent with Affect-related Pitch Prosody
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Publisher:Empirical Musicology Review
Citation:Empirical Musicology Review, v3 n2 (April 2008), 59-63
An analysis of 9,788 instrumental themes shows that minor-key themes are, on average, slightly lower in pitch than major-key themes. The lower pitch is not merely an artifact of structural differences in the scales. In addition, instrumental themes in minor keys show a weak though significant tendency to use smaller pitch intervals. Both results are consistent with observations in speech prosody, where sad speakers exhibit a lower F0 and narrower pitch fluctuation compared with normal or happy speakers.
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