What is Cognitive Science
Music Theory for Cognitive Scientists
Thursday, December 08, 2005, 12:00pm - 07:00pm
Princeton University, Dept. of Music
My talk aims to introduce cognitive scientists to recent developments in the foundations of music theory. I describe a number of properties that, I believe, jointly contribute to the perception of "tonality" in music. These include centricity, consonance, macroharmony, and efficient voice leading. (I will illustrate these properties with examples that do not presuppose musical training.) I conclude by presenting a geometrical model showing that musical chords can be represented as points in non-Euclidean "quotient spaces," with the structure of these spaces determined by elementary features of music perception. Throughout, I suggest ways in which cognitive scientists might use these ideas to understand and model music cognition.
"What is Cognitive Science?"
This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.
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