Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Greg Jerome Bowers
Expectations play a significant role in the way a listener experiences a piece of music. These expectations have been thought to generate through the probabilistic learning of harmonic structures by exposure to music. They make up what is called schematic memory. Through this understanding of musical memory, researchers have found that different schematic frameworks exist in participants from different cultures. This study has two primary goals. The first is to isolate harmony as a key element of schematic memory for music. The second is to consider the possibility that different genres within Western music may have their own schematic frameworks, as represented in musical memory, in a way similar to music from different cultures. While harmony was found to play a significant role in schematic memory, it remains unclear whether or not different genres within Western culture are categorized independently due to the differences in their harmonic frameworks.
Witkowsky, David H., "An Experimental Analysis of the Role of Harmony in Musical Memory and the Categorization of Genre" (2011). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 418.
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