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Tension paradigm and tonal syntax Some cognitive and semiological implications

Abstract : This paper examines the origins of two main characteristics of tonality: the gravitation around harmonic centers and the directional tendency of chord sequences. My paper will attempt to demonstrate that both characteristics arise from a tension paradigm which governs the rules of preparation and resolution of the dissonance. In a first phase the cognitive and philosophical implications of the tension principle will be determined. The modeling proposed in this paper shall demonstrate how the tension paradigm implying cadential teleology may under certain circumstances explain both the advent of Riemannian harmonic functions and the directed motion of chord sequences.    In a second phase, the origin of the gravitation around harmonic centers and the directional tendency of chord sequences will be examined from a historical perspective.  At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries the treatment of the dissonance is subjected to a major evolution with the advent of the seconda pratica. Two madrigals by Monteverdi, one in stilo antico, another in stilo moderno will allow to discuss the semiotic implications of the topic by showing the correlations between extra-musical references, the use of dissonances and tonal functioning. Deductions will be tested through statistical analysis which will reveal progressive trends, steep mutations and constants in the correlation between the usage of dissonances and the tonal functioning, both in the overall statistics and in the local fluctuations of asymmetry and polarization through the work.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01431452
Contributor : Christophe Guillotel-Nothmann <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 8:19:16 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 9:48:09 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 5:12:04 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01431452, version 1

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Christophe Guillotel-Nothmann. Tension paradigm and tonal syntax Some cognitive and semiological implications. 2010. ⟨halshs-01431452⟩

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