Scientific Methods Applied to Analyze the Sound Pitch

Irina Chigick


Relevance of the study. Issues of methodology of sound pitch analysis have not yet been the object of researchers’ special attention: they are an integral part of the research of sound pitch organization that begins with the question, how exactly it should be analyzed. Scientific novelty of the research is determined by its main objectives — the methodology of sound pitch analysis; the subject is a dynamic role of methodological approaches in the study of concrete sound pitch systems with the purpose of identifying methodological positions relevant to modern scientific practices and agreed with the achievements of scientific experience. In general, the article is devoted to the raising of the problem.

Methodology of the research. Comparative-analytical method is used for detecting discussion terms and analytical interpretations as being the "weak links" of the investigated issue. Systemstructural method is used for characteristics of phenomena inherent to different stages (phases) of functioning sound pitch systems, to avoid superficial analogies that provoke into inadequate solutions. Historic-style method, used in the article to clarify the examples of incorrect interpretation of the phenomena of harmony in times of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Comprehensive method is used for formation of the analytical apparatus corresponding to the methodological principles.

Conclusions. In the article the attention is drawn to methodological dimension of sound pitch analysis; the author considers the following methodological positions being relevant for today:

  1. On the very “start” of the research its analytical complex should be formed, the elements of which are concept and percept. The idea of the author as it is embodied in the musical text, is considered as a concept, and the fact that is perceived and brought to light by way of theoretical analysis — percept. Both are complex systems of musical and beyond musical components that are identical in their composition, but different in their specific content. Regardless of whether their action both in concept and in percept is realized, they have to be taken into account in the analytical process. Despite common components of concept-percept, the problem of their adequacy according to inner content of their components is important.
  2. It is methodologically important, the aspect of interaction in the process of research of sound pitch organization, professionally formed musical auditory experience and memory (of composer and scholar) on the one hand, and the musical-stylistic situation of the time the creation of the studied artistic text, in particular, at an angle of view of the approaching of the content of percept to the content of the concept on the other hand.
  3. Sound pitch analysis must be historicallyoriented. Harmonic-tonal system revealed historical limitations. Any other pitch system must be analyzed with the tool appropriate to its inner system.


sound pitch analysis; methodological positions; concept-percept structure; analytical complex


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