ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 218-224.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00218

• Research Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The influence of tonal structure on tension experience in sonata pieces by Mozart and Beethoven

CHE Xinchun1,2,3, SUN Lijun1, MA Xiaolong1,2, YANG Yufang1   

  1. 1CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3School of Music, Nanchang Hangkong University, Nanchang 330063, China
  • Received:2020-06-10 Online:2021-02-15 Published:2020-12-29

Abstract: Musical tension is the basis of musical listening. In this study, we calculated tension values based on Tonal Tension Model and conducted behavioral experiment to explore the influence of tonal structure on tension experience in sonata compositions by Mozart and Beethoven. The sonata form is composed of three parts: exposition, development and recapitulation. Our results revealed that both of the tension values and tension experience in development were higher than that in exposition and recapitulation, and higher in recapitulation than in exposition. This might be due to the differences of the distance and frequency on tonal modulations in the three parts. Our study investigated the influence of tonal structure on musical tension in large-scale music works, providing evidence and new perspectives for the study of musicology.

Key words: tonal structure, tension, sonata form, Mozart, Beethoven

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