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New Music Concepts 2020

A Multidimensional Model of Music Tension

Part of the New Music Concepts book series (NMC volume 7)
ISBN: 978-88-944350-3-0

Author(s): Aozhi Liu, Zhaohua Zhu, Zifeng Cai, Zongyang Xie, Yaqi Mei and Jing Xiao

Abstract: Tension is a high-level concept to describe the instability of music. In this article, we propose a multidimensional method to quantitatively model music tension of symbolic music in a comprehensive way. Multiple factors including melodic, harmonic, dynamics and timbral are collaborated to calculate the value of music tension. The effectiveness is examined by comparing the model's computational results with the measures of the examiners' music tension of three selected pieces of classical piano music. This examination shows that the computational result of our model is close to the experimented result of the listeners. We finally compare our model to the model of "Tension Ribbons", in which there're three methods to estimate tonal tension of symbolic music.

Keywords: music tension, multidimensional model, symbolic music, music perception