Automatically calculating tonal tension

Ruiz-Marcos, Germán; Willis, Alistair and Laney, Robin (2020). Automatically calculating tonal tension. In: The 2020 Joint Conference on AI Music Creativity (Sturm, Bob and Elmsley, Andy eds.), 19-23 Oct 2020, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden [On-line].



Since the early years of the past century, many scholars have focused their efforts towards designing models to better understand the way listeners perceive musical tension. From the existing models, Lerdahl’s has shown strong correlations against tension judgements provided by human listeners and has been used to make accurate predictions of musical tension. However, a full automation of Lerdahl’s model of tension has not yet been made available. This paper presents a computational approach to automatically calculate musical tension according to Lerdahl’s model, with a publicly available implementation.

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