absolute pitch (AP)

The ability found in a minority of listeners, where the pitch of a tone can be accurately identified without relying on an external reference pitch. Also called perfect pitch.


aggression display

See threat display.


agogic

Pertaining to duration.


agogic syncopation

Syncopation that arises when metrically unstressed notes are longer in duration than metrically stressed notes. Compare onset syncopation. See also syncopation; dynamic syncopation; harmonic syncopation; tonal syncopation; meter.


Aksak meter

Any of a class of irregular meters commonly found in Bulgarian dances. For example, a repeated rhythmic cycle of 3+2+2.


amygdala

An almond-shaped brain structure located in both right and left temporal lobes that is involved in emotional responses, especially fear.


antecedent state

An event that precedes some other event -- as in the first note in a melodic interval. Compare consequent state.


anticipation

1. The subjective experience accompanying a strong expectation that a particular event will occur; also referred to as the feeling of anticipation. 2. In Western music theory, a type of melodic embellishment in which an expected note is immediately preceded by the same pitch. E.g. The "ta" in the "ta-dah" cadence. See also premonition.


AP

Absolute pitch.


appoggiatura

1. In Western music theory, a type of melodic embellishment in which an important melody pitch is preceded by two tones that form a large pitch interval (leap) followed by a step in the opposite direction. 2. The second tone in the three-tone pattern just described.


appraisal response

The fifth and final component of the ITPRA theory of expectation. Any of one or more feelings that can arise after an outcome is fully assessed. Feelings might include jealousy, anger, suspicion, boredom, relief, pride, embarrassment, irritation, disgust, sadness, confusion, and joy, to name just a few. See also ITPRA, imagination response; tension response; prediction response; reaction response.


arousal

The body's readiness for action. A low state of arousal is accompanied by feelings of lethargy or sleepiness, whereas a high state of arousal is accompanied by feelings of energy and excitement. Physiological features of low arousal include slow heart rate, low blood pressure, slow respiration, low cellular glucose uptake. Compare attention.


association

A learned link or correlation between a stimulus and a response, or between two stimuli.


attention

A network of mental processes that selects which sensations or thoughts become the subject of contemplation. Also, the extent or magnitude of interest or disinterest.


authentic cadence

The most common cadence in Western music. A closing gesture that is defined by two successive harmonies: a dominant chord followed by a tonic chord. E.g. In the key of C major, a G major chord followed by a C major chord. See cadence. See also deceptive cadence.


awe

An emotion in which wonder and fear are combined. Often associated with gasping or breath-holding and general motor immobility ("freeze").


azimuth

The left-right horizontal component of sound localization. Azimuth cues are known to be related to interaural time and amplitude differences. An aspect of audition that is resistent to learning. See also elevation.


backbeat

The tendency in a recurring four-beat sequence to emphasize the second and fourth beats rather than the first and third beats. The most characteristic feature of rock and roll, typically played on a snare drum.


Baldwin effect

Variously interpreted. The idea, proposed by James Baldwin, that evolution favors the development of learning (in preference to innate responses) whenever the environment changes relatively rapidly.


baroque

A stylistic period in Western music spanning roughly 1600 to 1750. Associated with the music of such composers as J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel.


basilar membrane

A long, thin tissue in the cochlea that contains the sensory neurons responsible for hearing. Through a complicated bio-mechanical arrangement, the basilar membrane achieves a form of spectral analysis where high and low frequencies cause maximum activation toward opposite ends of the membrane.


beat

A recurring moment when tone onsets are more expected. In contrast to tactus, beats are differentiated from strong to weak and occur within a repeating pattern of beats, called a meter.


betting paradigm

An experimental method used to infer the subjective probability of different outcomes by having participants place monetary bets on possible future events.


binary meter bias

The tendency for (Western-enculturated) listeners to assume that beats and subbeats will form strong-weak (or weak-strong) pairs. Listeners tend not to expect triple meters or compound meters. See Brochard et al. 2003. See also statistical learning.


binding problem

The problem of how the mind integrates the various properties of a stimulus (e.g., pitch and timbre) into a single perceptual experience. A classic problem in cognitive science.


bit

Binary digit. A logarithmic representation useful for characterizing the amount of information or uncertainty. Two states can be represented by a single bit. Four states can be represented by two bits. Eight states can be represented by three bits, etc.


bradycardia

The momentary slowing of the heart rate in response to a stimulus. Typically, bradycardic responses occur when the individual pays attention. Bradycardic responses are symptomatic of interest (as opposed to boredom or fear).


cadence

A stereotypic musical pattern that evokes a sense of full or partial completion or closure. Cadences are evident in virtually all musical cultures. In Western music, different types of cadences are often associated with different harmonic progressions. See authentic cadence; deceptive cadence.


central pitch tendency

The tendency for pitches in a melody to cluster around a middle region. By contrast, few pitches in a melody will be especially high or especially low. Central pitch tendency is likely an artifact of the mechanics of pitch production: pitches in a particular region or tessitura are usually easier to generate than outlying pitches. See also regression to the mean.


chills

See frisson.


chimeric melody

A pitch sequence constructed by linking together two different melodies. A tune that begins with one melody, but then shifts to another melody. See also elision, quodlibet.


chroma

In psychology, the subjective phenomenon by which tones in different octaves sound similar. The tones C#4, C#5, C#6, etc. differ in pitch but evoke the same chroma. Compare pitch class.


chromatic

An adjective applied to any pitch or chord that does not belong to the perceived key. Compare diatonic.


closure

The subjective sense of ending or completion -- as when experiencing the end of a sentence. In music, ending gestures are called cadences. Narmour has defined closure as the absence of psychological expectations. See also cadence.


compound meter

Any meter in which the beats are subdivided into three. E.g. 1-2-3-4-5-6 (compound duple), 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 (compound triple). Compare simple meter. See also binary meter bias.


consequent state

An event that follows after some preceding event -- as in the second note in a melodic interval. Compare antecedent state.


consonance

The idea that some sounds or sound-combinations are more beautiful or euphonious than others. An ancient but disputed idea that has received numerous treatments. Psychoacoustic research suggests that consonance may be regarded as the absence of sensory dissonance. See dissonance.


context cue

An unusual or distinctive feature that provides information about which of several schemas to invoke in some situation. Context cues might include distinctive forms of dress, manners of speech, environment or locale, etc. See also schema.


contingent frequency

The likelihood of some event given the occurrence of some other event. For example, the likelihood of a downbeat given an event on the preceding upbeat.


contour

The up-and-down pattern of pitch changes in a melody.


contracadential

As used here, the compositional strategy, evident especially in the music of Richard Wagner, where cadence-like passages do not lead to the experience of closure.


contrametric

As used here, the compositional strategy, evident especially in some passages by Igor Stravinsky, where the music is designed to thwart the listener's ability to infer a regular meter.


contratonal

As used here, the compositional strategy, evident especially in the 12-tone compositions of Arnold Schoenberg, where the 12-tone row is organized to thwart the listener's ability to infer a tonal center or key.


contrarian aesthetic

The artistic goal, associated with certain modernist artists and musicians, where works of art are created to provoke psychological discomfort or unease. See also contracadential; contrametric; contratonal.


contrastive valence

A conjecture that the hedonic value of an experience is amplified when preceded by a contrasting hedonic state. See also valence.


cortical

Pertaining to the cerebral cortex. That is, pertaining to the outer surface of the brain commonly associated with conscious thought. Contrasts with subcortical.


critical learning period

The idea that learning is facilitated during a particular period of animal development. Critical learning periods are typically proposed during childhood.


cross-over

In music or art, the mixing of two or more styles, such as the blending of "folk" and "rock" to create "folk rock."


deceptive cadence

A type of cadence where a dominant chord is not followed by the (normal) tonic chord. Commonly, a deceptive cadence involves a dominant chord that is followed by either a submediant chord or a subdominant chord. See also cadence; authentic cadence; progression.


declination

The general tendency for successive pitches to decline. Commonly observed in speech where the pitch of the voice tends to fall until the speaker inhales. See also step declination; tumbling strain.


deduction

The process of deriving statements (called propositions) from a set of assumptions (called axioms). If all humans are mortal and Socrates is human, then it may be deduced that Socrates is mortal. Compare induction.


degree

See scale degree.


diatonic

An adjective applied to any pitch or chord that belongs to the perceived key. Compare chromatic.


diatonic interval

An interval between two pitches, both of which belong to a single major key. See also diatonic; chromatic.


dishabituation

After habituating to a repeated stimulus, the phenomenon whereby an organism regains its sensitivity to the same stimulus. See also habituation.


dissonance

The idea that some sounds or sound-combinations are less euphonious than others. An ancient but disputed idea that has received numerous treatments. Psychoacoustic research supports a low-level auditory irritation dubbed "sensory dissonance" that is related to the timbre, register, and interval content for sonorous moments. See also consonance.


dominant

1. The fifth scale degree in the Western major or minor scales. 2. The major chord built on the fifth scale degree (dominant chord). 3. The harmonic function associated with the dominant chord.


downbeat

The first beat in a measure. The moment in a metric schema that is most likely to coincide with an event onset. See also meter.


duple meter

Any meter that exhibits two main beats per measure. Duple meters may be either simple (beats are subdivided into 2) or compound (beats are subdivided into 3). See also triple meter; meter.


duplex theory of pitch

A theory proposed in the 1950s by Licklider that pitch is neurologically represented by two factors: the place of maximum excitation on the basilar membrane, and the rate of neural firing.


dyad

Pair. Two items, such as two notes, or two intervals.


dynamic syncopation

Syncopation that arises when events are louder at metrically weaker moments. See also agogic syncopation; harmonic syncopation; onset syncopation; tonal syncopation; meter.


dynamic expectation

An expectation that arises "on the fly." These expectations are shaped by immediate experience, as when exposure to a novel work causes a listener to expect similar passages as the work continues. Dynamic expectations are linked to short-term memory. See also schematic expectation; veridical expectation.


echoic memory

A brief sensory memory that retains a sound impression for roughly a second.


elevation

The component of sound localization that pertains to the vertical height of a sound source. Elevation cues are related to the shape of the outer ear (pinna). Elevation appears to be learned. See also azimuth.


elision

Overlapping -- as when the last note of one musical phrase is also the first note of the ensuing phrase. See also chimeric melody.


embellishment

A class of tones found in melodies that are commonly regarded as subservient to neighboring "structural" tones. The most important embellishment tones include anticipations, appoggiaturas, passing tones, neighbor tones, and suspensions. Also called "nonharmonic," "nonchordal," or "unessential" tones.


epinephrine

A hormone associated with increased arousal that causes elevated respiratory, circulatory, and other changes appropriate for increased movement. See arousal; norepinephrine.


episodic memory

Autobiographical memory; a memory for particular past events.


event-related binding

The conjecture that properties of sounds (including the relationships between successive sounds) are mentally assigned to sound onsets. For example, the idea that the qualia evoked by melodic intervals are experienced as the way in which a tone is approached.


exposure effect

Also called "mere exposure effect." The tendency, evident in all animals, to prefer stimuli to which they have been most frequently exposed. It is argued in this book that the exposure effect is better viewed as a prediction effect.


fast track

Any neural pathway that takes less than about 150 milliseconds to respond to some stimulus. Typically, such fast responses do not involve the neocortex. In general, "fast track" processes are concerned with protection or defense. Compare slow track.


fight response

The tendency for an organism to attack in response to fear-inducing stimuli. One of three classic physiological responses to fear. See also flight response; freeze response; surprise; threat display; frisson.


firewall

Also cognitive firewall. The hypothetical physiological mechanism through which brains are able to segregate inductive lessons into distinctive contexts. The capacity for brains to protect schemas from overgeneralized learning.


first-order

The probability of an event occurring given the prior occurrence of a single other event. Compare zeroth-order.


flight response

The tendency for an organism to flee in response to fear. One of three classic physiological responses to fear. See also fight response; freeze response; surprise; laughter.


folk psychology

The name given by professional psychologists to describe common intuitive theories about human behavior. Folk psychologies are often captured in sayings or aphorisms such as "Never cry wolf." Psychologists have noted that many folk psychologies are inconsistent or contradictory. For example, people may concurrently hold to be true "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," and "Out of sight, out of mind."


freeze response

The tendency for an organism to become immobile in response to fear. One of three classic physiological responses to fear. See also fight response, flight response, surprise, gasp, awe.


frisson

The sensation of chills, thrills, or shivers running up and down one's spine. Also associated with goose flesh and piloerection (one's hair standing on end). Commonly evoked by cold temperatures and acute fear. The word "frisson" is borrowed from French. See also piloerection, skin orgasm.


gap fill

A general psychological principle, proposed by Leonard Meyer, that listeners expect a stimulus sequence to return to any states that have been omitted in some sequence. For example, if a melody ascends along some scale and skips one of the scale tones, Meyer suggested that there would arise a psychological craving to return at some point and "fill" the gap that had been created. Meyer proposed that gap fill constituted a formerly overlooked Gestalt principle. See post-skip reversal.


gasp

A reflex motor response characterized by (1) open mouth, (2) rapid inhale, followed by (3) breath-holding. Gasping may be audible or inaudible. Sometimes breath-holding (and immobility) may occur without the rapid inhaling. See also awe; freeze response; surprise.


genre

In music, a broad class or type of music. Genres are defined in various ways, such as by instrument (music for accordion, didgeridoo), by instrumental group (chamber orchestra, music for gamelan), by style (country and western, Gregorian chant), by culture (gagaku, bossa nova, flamenco), by spectacle (opera, puppet theater, jig), by texture (monody, polyphony, heterophony), by technical musical features (minor key, slendro, compound meter), etc. See also schema.


goose flesh

See piloerection.


habituation

The process of decreasing responsiveness to a recurring stimulus. The simplest form of learning. See also dishabituation.


harmonic syncopation

Syncopation that arises when chord changes coincide with metrically weaker (rather than metrically stronger) moments. See also agogic syncopation; dynamic syncopation; onset syncopation; tonal syncopation; meter.


hedonic

Pertaining to pleasure.


hemiola

A syncopation-like effect created when a musical passage changes meter for one or two measures. See also syncopation.


heuristic

Rule of thumb. A rule that proves helpful in most (though not all) cases.


Hick-Hyman law

The speed of processing a stimulus is inversely proportional to the familiarity of the stimulus.


hypermeter

A recurring pattern of beats whose period of repetition is longer than a single bar or measure. In Western music, hypermeter commonly involves two- or four-measure patterns. See meter; downbeat.


hippocampus

A structure found in the right and left temporal lobes known to be involved in short-term memory and spatial representation.


imagination response

The first component of the ITPRA theory of expectation. The feelings that are evoked by imagining some future outcome, such as imagining being embarrassed by not completing a project, or feeling pride at the thought of graduating from college. See also ITPRA, tension response; prediction response; reaction response; appraisal response.


implication-realization theory

A theory of musical expectation developed by Eugene Narmour. The theory distinguishes circumstances where listeners form strong expectations (implicative contexts) from circumstances where listeners form weak expectations. For implicative contexts, the theory proposes a number of Gestalt-like principles that shape the listener's expectations.


induction

The process by which general lessons are drawn from a finite set of experiences or observations. Compare deduction.


interval

In music, the distance between two successive pitches (melodic interval) or two concurrent pitches (harmonic interval). In Western music, intervals are characterized by either their distance in semitones, or by their diatonic/chromatic relationship.


irregular meter

As used by Western musicians, any meter that does not employ a recurring cycle of 2, 3, or 4 beats, or where beats are not subdivided in the same way. See Aksak meter.


isochronous

Equivalent in duration.


ITPRA

A mnemonic for the sequence of five expectation-related responses: Imagination response; tension response; Prediction response; Reaction response; Appraisal response.


James-Lange theory

The theory proposed by William James and Carl Lange that feeling states arise from sensing physiological changes (e.g., we are sad because we cry).


key

1. The name or designation given to an absolute pitch scale, or a musical passage conforming to such a scale. Key designations include the tonic (first scale tone) and the mode (major or minor) -- as in the key of "F major." 2. The scale schema evoked by some musical passage or sequence of tones.


key closure

See long-term closure.


laughter

An innate respiratory reflex involving a characteristic punctuated exhaling. Commonly evoked by initially fearful stimuli that are subsequently appraised as innocuous. May be evoked by nervousness, surprise, sadism, slapstick, social politeness, or humor. See also flight response.


leading tone

The seventh scale degree in either the Western major or minor scales. A pitch that often evokes the qualia of "yearning" to resolve to the tonic.


late phrase declination

The tendency exhibited by Western-enculturated listeners to expect pitches to descend in the latter half of phrases. An expectational heuristic that may originate in the melodic arch. See also declination; tumbling strain; Urlinie.


leap

A large melodic pitch interval. Traditionally, a leap is defined as an interval larger than two or three semitones. Contrasts with step.


localization

The sense of spatial position of a sound source, including left-right azimuth, high-low elevation, and near-far proximity.


long-term closure

Also called "key closure." 1. The practice of ending a musical work in the same key in which it begins. 2. The theory that ending a musical work in the same key in which it begins evokes a stronger psychological sense of closure.


long-term memory

Memories that may be retrieved days, months, or years later.


lower-order

The probability of an event occurring in light of little knowledge of other prior events. Examples of lower-order probabilities include zeroth-order and first-order relationships. Contrasts with higher-order.


macroemotions

See microemotions.


McDonald's effect

The tendency for long melodic arches to display a mid-phrase dip. The average pitch height graph for long phrases exhibits an M-shape akin to the golden arch logo used by McDonald's restaurants. See also melodic arch.


major key bias

The tendency for (Western-enculturated) listeners to assume that musical passages will be in a major (as opposed to minor) key. See also statistical learning.


mediant

The third scale degree in the Western major or minor scales.


melodic arch

The tendency in Western (and some other) musical cultures, for melodic phrases to exhibit a rising then falling pitch contour. Also the tendency for an ascending phrase to be followed by a descending phrase. See late phrase declination.


mental representation

The way that brains code the external world.


meter

1. A recurring pattern of beats that, in Western music, coincides with the duration of a bar or measure. 2. A beat schema that typically involves a cycle of between 2 and 5 beats with a distinctive way of subdividing beats. See compound meter; simple meter; duple meter; triple meter; irregular meter; Aksak meter; hypermeter; contrametric; binary meter bias; beat; downbeat.


microemotions

Slight feelings of pleasantness or discomfort that occur throughout a normal day, and which are rarely accessible to conscious awareness. Examples include the irritation that causes a person to shift posture, or the enjoyment of stroking fur. Contrasts with macroemotions -- major emotional experiences, such as feeling fear at the sight of a snake, or the joy of being reunited with a loved one.


misattribution

The psychological tendency to attribute or associate feelings or emotions with any distinctive or noticeable stimulus or environment.


naive realism

The belief that the world exists as it appears and that our senses do not deceive us. See also realism, sophisticated realism.


neural Darwinism

The neurological theory that mental functions compete for the use of cortical tissues.


norepinephrine

A hormone associated with increased brain activity. See arousal; attention; epinephrine.


odd ball note

A single tone that is experienced as "out of place."


onset syncopation

Syncopation that arises when note onsets coincide with metrically weaker (rather than metrically stronger) moments. Compare agogic syncopation. See also syncopation; dynamic syncopation; harmonic syncopation; tonal syncopation; meter.


panting-laughter

A form of laughter, found in nonhuman primates, that involves both inhaling and exhaling,


paradoxical expectation

An event that is simultaneously expected and not expected. A phenomenon that can be traced to diverging schematic, veridical expectation, or dynamic expectation expectations. See also Wittgenstein's puzzle; deceptive cadence.


pianissimo

Italian for very quiet or soft. Contrasts with fortissimo.


piloerection

The physiological reflex that causes hair folicles to constrict so that one's hair stands on end. See threat display; frisson.


pitch class

In music theory, the property by which tones in different octaves are deemed to be the same -- as in the set of all Cs, or the set of all C#s, etc. Compare chroma.


pitch proximity

1. The tendency, found in most of the world's music, for successive tones to be near in pitch. 2. The tendency for listeners to expect successive tones to be near in pitch.


post-event epoch

The period of time immediately following the advent of some expected or unexpected event. In the ITPRA theory, this epoch includes the prediction response, the reaction response, and the appraisal response. Compare with pre-event epoch.


post-skip reversal

1. The tendency for melodic leaps or large pitch intervals to be followed by a change in pitch direction. 2. The psychological expectation that a melodic leap will be followed by a change of direction. See gap fill; regression to the mean.


pre-event epoch

The period of time preceding the advent of some expected or unexpected event. In the ITPRA theory, this epoch includes the imagination response and the tension response. Compare post-event epoch.


prediction effect

The tendency to misattribute positive or negative feelings generated by the prediction response to the stimulus. That is, the tendency to experience predicted stimuli as positive, and unpredicted stimuli as negative. Compare exposure effect.


prediction response

The third component of the ITPRA theory of expectation. The positive or negative feelings that are evoked in response to the relative success or failure in predicting some outcome. Also referred to as the primary affect in some theories of expectation. See also ITPRA; imagination response; tension response; reaction response; appraisal response.


premonition

A long-range feeling of anticipation.


primary affect

See prediction response.


problem of induction

The philosophical problem, identified by David Hume, that no amount of observation can ever establish the truth of some general proposition. For example, no matter how many white swans one observes, one can never prove that all swans are white. All learning is constrained by the problem of induction.


progression

Also "harmonic progression." The succession of chords in a musical work or passage.


pump-up

An abrupt modulation, common in some popular musics, where the key shifts upward by one or two semitones. Typically appears toward the end of a work.


qualia

The distinctive subjective or phenomenological "feel" of some experience.


quodlibet

A musical work constructed primarily of quotations from other works. See also chimeric melody.


reaction response

The fourth component of the ITPRA theory of expectation. Any one of several fast responses that might be immediately evoked after an outcome. Reaction responses are automatic (unconscious) and are typically defensive in nature. Reaction responses might include innate reflexes such as the startle response or the orienting response, or learned quick responses. See also ITPRA; imagination response; tension response; prediction response; appraisal response.


realism

The belief that there exists an objective, physical world. See also naive realism; sophisticated realism.


recognition point

The moment in time when a stimulus is recognized. It will take several tones before an individual can recognize a familiar melody.


regression to the mean

The tendency for an extreme value to be followed by a more moderate value.


relative pitch

The mental coding of pitches by their successive relationships rather than according to their fixed pitch level. Examples of relative pitch include pitch interval and scale degree succession. Relative pitch is evident when the same song can be sung at several different pitch levels without changing the essential character of the song. Compare absolute pitch.


rhythmic attending

The theory, proposed by Mari Riess Jones, that attention waxes and wanes according to periodic pulses ("attentional pulses"). Listeners are more attentive at particular moments in time.


ritard

The slowing down of a musical passage, commonly done at the ends of musical phrases. Especially marked at the ends of musical works.


rubato

The intentional speeding-up and slowing-down when performing music.


scale degree

A relative system for naming pitches according to their position in some scale. For Western music, seven scale degrees are commonly identified. For the major scale, the most well-known names are the "solfa" syllables: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti. For both the major and minor scales, theorists use the names: tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading tone, or more simple, the numbers 1^, 2^, 3^, 4^, 5^, 6^, 7^.


Schadenfreude

The pleasure evoked by others' misfortunes. A word borrowed from the German.


schema

A mental preconception of the habitual course of events.


schematic expectation

Expectations that arise from general knowledge of how events typically unfold -- such as familiarity with the "language" of jazz. Expectations linked to long-term memory. Compare dynamic expectation; veridical expectation.


Schenkerian analysis

A method of music analysis devised by Heinrich Schenker in the early 20th century. Schenker conceived of tonal works as an elaboration of one of three background templates or scaffolds. One scaffold consists of three descending pitches -- mi, re, do. A second scaffold consists of five descending pitches -- so, fa, mi, re, do. A third (more rare) scaffold consists of an eight-pitch descending line -- do, ti, la, so, fa, mi, re, do. Using a sophisticated series of "rewrite" rules, Schenkerian analysts progressively distill a musical foreground to a successively reduced set of structural tones until finally, an entire work or movement is reduced to a 3-, 5-, or 8-line scaffold called an Urlinie. See also declination, Urlinie.


simple meter

Any meter in which the beats are subdivided into two. E.g. 1-2-3-4 (simple duple), 1-2-3-4-5-6 (simple triple). Compare compound meter. See also binary meter bias.


skin orgasm

Term coined by Jaak Panksepp; synonymous with frisson.


slow track

Any neural pathway that takes more than about 150 milliseconds to respond to some stimulus. Typically, such slow responses arise because of the involvement of the neocortex. In general, "slow track" processes are concerned with accurate appraisal. Compare fast track.


sophisticated realism

The belief that there exists an objective, physical world apart from human experience. A belief that this reality is interpreted and filtered by our sensory systems and that sensations are only indirect apprehensions of the presumed external world. See also realism, naive realism.


Strack effect

Flexing the zygomatic muscles makes people feel happier. For example, holding a pencil with your teeth causes you to feel happier than holding it with your lips. (You can feel happy because you smile.) See also James-Lange theory; tension response.


statistical learning

Learning based on how frequently a particular event occurs, or how tightly two or more events are correlated.


step

The pitch distance between two successive tones in some scale. The precise size of a step may vary from one to three semitones. See pitch proximity; step declination; step inertia.


step declination

A disposition evident in Western musical notation for a descending melodic step to be followed by a subsequent lower pitch. Compare step inertia.


step inertia

A psychological disposition exhibited by (Western-enculturated) listeners to expect that a melodic step will be followed by a subsequent pitch that continues in the same direction. Originally proposed by theorist Eugene Narmour, the idea received experimental support in work by Paul von Hippel. N.B. Notated Western music does not exhibit step inertia. Compare with step declination.


stop-and-go

A musical device in which the music stops completely for a moment, and then resumes.


stream-of-consciousness listening

A common form of music listening where the listener is unaware or pays no conscious attention to the listening experience. In this form of listening, the imagination and appraisal responses are muted or attenuated, and so a simplified analysis (reducing ITPRA to TPR) may be appropriate.


strong beat

A recurring moment when tone onsets are especially expected. See beat; downbeat; meter.


subito

Italian word meaning "sudden," as in subito piano (suddenly quiet).


subdominant

1. The fourth scale degree in the Western major or minor scales. 2. The major or minor chord built on the fourth scale degree ("subdominant chord"). 3. The harmonic function associated with the subdominant chord.


subjective probability

The perceived or apparent likelihood (rather than the actual likelihood).


submediant

1. The sixth scale degree in the Western major or minor scales. 2. The major or minor chord built on the sixth scale degree ("submediant chord"). 3. The harmonic function associated with the submediant chord. See also deceptive cadence.


supertonic

The second scale degree in the Western major or minor scales.


surprise

A common response to unexpected stimuli. A characteristic facial expression may be evoked where the mouth remains open (facilitating breathing) and the eyelids remain retracted (facilitating perception). See also fight response; flight response; and freeze response.


surprise laughter

Laughter evoked by some unexpected event or stimulus, such as the bursting of a balloon.


sweet anticipation

As used in this book, the positive feelings that arise from conscious thought about some future event (such as the thought of attending a concert). See also anticipation.


syncopation

A distinctive rhythmic effect produced by a class of violations of temporal expectation. Specifically, where an event coinciding with a relatively weak metrical moment fails to be followed by an event on an ensuing stronger metrical moment. See also agogic syncopation, dynamic syncopation, harmonic syncopation, onset syncopation and tonal syncopation.


tactus

A basic pulse that typically falls in the range between 0.6 and 0.75 seconds (80 to 100 events per minute). The rate at which a listener will spontaneously tap while listening to music. The tactus commonly coincides with the beat rate. However, where beats are perceived as stronger or weaker events within a recurring meter, the tactus remains an undifferentiated pulse.


tendency moment

Moment within a meter that evokes a strong expectation of an event onset coinciding with some ensuing metrical moment. An example of a tendency moment is the pickup, upbeat, or anacrusis. See also tendency tone; meter.


tendency tone

In music theory, a tone that evokes a strong expectation of some ensuing tone. Common examples of tendency tones include chromatic (nonscale) tones, the leading tone, and the seventh in a dominant seventh chord.


tension

As used in this book, a term reserved to describe those feelings that arise immediately prior to an expected event. See tension response.


tension response

The second component of the ITPRA theory of expectation. Feelings that arise due to preparations for an expected event -- often feelings evoked by an increase in arousal or vigiliance. See also James-Lange theory; ITPRA; appraisal response; imagination response; prediction response; reaction response.


theme

A relatively brief musical passage that is (1) characteristic of the work in question, and (2) has a tendency to be memorable. The "main musical idea" of a work.


threat display

A characteristic component of the fight response, where an animal endeavors to appear fierce. Typically involves the showing of teeth, making eye contact, leaning forward, piloerection (hair standing on end), and vocalization.


thrills

See frisson.


timbre

(TAM-bur) A catch-all term denoting those properties of a sound (other than pitch or loudness) that contribute to the sound's distinctive character or identity. Also called "tone color" or "tone quality."


tonal syncopation

Syncopation that arises when pitch patterns fail to coincide with the prevailing meter. See also agogic syncopation; dynamic syncopation; harmonic syncopation; onset syncopation. meter.


tonality

1. A system for interpreting pitches or chords through their relationship to a reference pitch, dubbed the tonic. The relationships are designated using scale-degree names or numbers. 2. Any musical system in any culture that relates scale tones to a final or reference pitch. 3. The major/minor system of pitch organization that has dominated Western music since the 16th century (contrasts with modality and atonality). 4. A broad-ranging interrelated system of musical organization that includes cadences, modulations, thematic key areas, and long-term key closure. See also scale degree.


tonic

The first scale degree in the Western major and minor scales. The pitch in a scale that sounds most stable or closed.


triple meter

Any meter that exhibits three main beats per measure. Triple meters may be either simple (beats are subdivided into 2) or compound (beats are subdivided into 3). See also duple meter; meter.


tumbling strain

Name given by ethnomusicologist Curt Sachs to denote music that exhibits a distinctive tendency to fall in pitch with each musical phrase. Compare melodic arch. See also declination; step declination; Urlinie.


Urlinie

Concept proposed by theorist Heinrich Schenker to denote a fundamental line or deep structure that is presumed to underlie all aesthetically constructed tonal music. See also Schenkerian analysis; declination; step declination; late phrase declination; tumbling strain.


valence

The positive or negative quality of emotions. (There are no neutral emotions.) See also contrastive valence.


veridical expectation

Expectations that arise from past knowledge of a familiar sequence of events -- such as familiarity with a particular musical work. Expectations linked to episodic memory. See also dynamic expectation; schematic expectation.


Wittgenstein's puzzle

The paradox, posed by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, of how it is possible to be surprised by musical events that one knows will happen. How, for example, can a deceptive cadence continue to sound deceptive, even when a listener is familiar with the music? See also paradoxical expectation.


zeroth-order

The raw probability of an event occurring without any consideration of the possible influence of surrounding or neighboring events. Compare first-order.