Modeling Tension and Resolution in Music


How do people perceive the way music can convey a story or a feeling, tension and resolution in music, and musical structures? In order to answer these questions, we are collecting data from all around the world to help illuminate these issues and reveal universal aspects of music perception. An online study has been designed with examples that take into account a number of musical parameters: pitch contour, rhythmic regularity, tempo, loudness, and harmony. These examples both isolate and combine these parameters, allowing us to gather empirical data. The model is trained on this data in order to mirror human perception as closely as possible. As of September 2005, more than 2,000 people have taken part in our study.