Perceiving multiple keys: Modulation and polytonality

Carol L. Krumhansl

in Cognitive Foundations of Musical Pitch

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195148367
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893201 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

Perceiving multiple keys: Modulation and polytonality

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This chapter summarizes two experiments that investigate how listeners perceive successive and simultaneous tonalities. The focus of the first experiment is on how listeners initially develop a sense of key, and how they assimilate modulations to new keys. The second experiment investigates the capacity to perceive more than one tonal organization simultaneously. The probe tone technique is applied to a bitonal passage in which materials from two distantly related keys are employed in parallel.

Keywords: tonalities; music perception; sense of key; tonal hierarchy; polytonality

Chapter.  9452 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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