In the field of tonal cognition studies, the Generative Theory of Tonal Music (by Lerdahl and Jackendoff) is the milestone from which a plenty of theoretical and empirical researches flourished in the last decades, aimed at deepening aspects of the theory. A main issue regarding GTTM is widely recognized: the approach is static, and the structural descriptions are given for the entire musical passage under analysis. Now, recalling that the prolongational reduction gives an account for the tensing–relaxing patterns in tonal music, my purpose is to illustrate a temporal-dependent model of the inference of such prolongational trees, inspired by dynamic grammars for natural languages, in the framework of the so-called “dynamic turn” in theoretical linguistics. The model is based on the assumption that listeners predict the recovering of the tonal sense. This starting disposition is the main goal of the comprehension process, gradually fulfilled as the listening to music goes on, by recursively generating sub-goals. Thus, a left-to-right parsing system is outlined, a system going on by alternating scanning, predictions, and revision steps. Partiality is allowed, to the extent that stored partial trees play the role of the structural context. The formal grammar apparatus adopted is “categorial”, borrowed by the linguistic paradigm of categorial grammars (Lambek et al.), and the objective is that of formalizing the role of expectation in the real–time growth and revision of mental representations, in tonal music processing.
13.H.3Sessione - Semiotics and Semantics of Tonality and Harmony
Duilio D’Alfonso took his degree in Philosophy at Rome University “La Sapienza” with a thesis on natural language parsing, under the supervision of Tullio De Mauro. Then he attended the doctoral school at University of Palermo, obtaining his PhD in Philosophy of Language. He is author of two books and several papers in the field of philosophy of language, logic and philosophy of information. He took his degree in Piano and in Composition at the Conservatory of L’Aquila. Author of numerous compositions performed in Italy and abroad, he taught Harmony and Counterpoint in several Italian Conservatories. As a music theorist, he is concerned with topics in Music Cognition, Schenkerian Analysis, and issues in the epistemology of music analysis.
State Conservatory of Music, Latina Italyduilio.firstname.lastname@example.org