Lawrence M. Zbikowski

in Conceptualizing Music

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195140231
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871278 | DOI:

Series: AMS Studies in Music


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This chapter focuses on conceptual models and theories. Jeanne Bamberger's research on children's representations of musical structure are analyzed, in particular her study of one specific eight-year-old boy. The part played by categorization and cross-domain mapping in the conceptual models involving this this boy used to come to terms with a musical environment is shown. How these models are combined to form a theory of music and how this theory changes in response to changes in the task at hand are also discussed. This close-up glimpse of the structure and role of conceptual models and theories leads to a more generalized characterization of these knowledge structures, which is linked to work on similar structures in artificial intelligence, cognitive anthropology, ethnomusicology, and developmental psychology. The chapter then returns to music theory and explores the role of conceptual models and theories (that is, theories framed relative to a cognitive perspective) in analyses by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Heinrich Schenker, two of the best-known music theorists of the last three hundred years.

Keywords: Jeanne Bamberger; cross-domain mapping; musical organization; music theory; knowledge structures

Chapter.  20197 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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