Hongyuan

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Hongyuan DongApril 3, 2015NACCL-27 AT UCLA

Musicality Meets Tonality—A Tonal Congruence Index (ITG) for Chinese vocal music—

Slide2

Overview

Introduce methods to accommodate tones in linguistic musicology (语言音乐学);Propose how tone sandhi, half 3rd tone and neutral tone can be added;Create a mathematical index for evaluating Chinese vocal music in terms of the degree of tonal congruence;Discuss implications of this index for CFL classes.

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Slide3

Background

General assumptions:Melodic contour can imitate tonal contour;It is easier to understand melodies that better accommodate tones; Composers are not constrained to preserve tones. They can choose to do so or not.

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Slide4

Background

In linguistics, previous studies focus on the perceptions of tones in vocal music, esp. Cantopop (e.g. Schellenberg 2013)In traditional Chinese musicology, there are various methods to accommodate tones. But these focus more on the composition. Also the tones used are more citation tonal forms (E.g. Zhang 1998)

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Slide5

Background

Issues with previous studies:Lack of mention of tone sandhi, half 3rd tone and neutral tone accommodation.There is no specific method to compare vocal music and judge which one preserves the tones more faithfully.

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Slide6

Introduction

answer questions |rough idea |convey meaning| big coat | [primary interpretation of lyrics]

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Slide7

Introduction

Tonality and musicality use the same acoustic property: pitchMelodic contour gives rise to primary interpretations of lyrics, although other interpretations are possible depending on contexts.To sing naturally and meaningfully requires tonal accommodation to a certain extent.

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Tonal Accommodation

In this section I will discuss the following principles of tonal accommodation in linguistic musicologyTonal contour resemblance (Zhang 1998)Register distinction (I propose this based on Wong and Diehl 2002 and Zhang 1998)Ad hoc grace notes (my new proposal)

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Tonal Contour Resemblance

Zhang (1998) introduces the following principles of tonal accommodation used in traditional Chinese vocal music.No discussion of neutral tone or tone sandhiThese principles can be lumped together as “tonal contour resemblance”

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Tonal Contour Resemblance

1st tone: high notes mostly, can use a single note or a downward succession of single notes, but not upward succession2nd tone: upward succession of two notes for one 2nd tone, or two 2nd tones.3rd tone: low notes, sharp upward progression4th tone: high notes, downward progression

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Tonal Contour Resemblance

The second word 明 is a 2nd tone realized by B-D;The third word 柳 is a 3rd tone realized by A-D;They do not seem to be sufficiently distinguished. Zhang (1998) didn’t explain.

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Tonal Contour Resemblance

Both the 2nd tone and the 3rd tone have a rising component.The 3rd tone has a 21 component too.The 3rd tone starts lower and goes up more, i.e. 14, instead of 35.This is revealed in the traditional requirement of a sharp upward progression for 3rd tone.

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Tonal Contour Resemblance

Therefore for the previously cited example, it is reasonable that the two words 明 and 柳 have a similar melodic contour.But the 3rd tone still starts lower at A than the 2nd tone at B.For students of Chinese, confusability between the 2nd tone and the 3rd tone is quite common as well.

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Register distinction

Zhang (1998) does not mention the notion of pitch register, although they are indirectly referred to, e.g. 3rd tone should use low notes as the start point while the 4th tone should use a high note as the start point.But register distinction was not used consistently as a principle for all four tones.Half-3rd tone is not mentioned.

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Register distinction

Wong and Diehl (2002) argue the 6 tones (excluding the entering tones) in Cantonese can be grouped into high-pitch (55 and 35), mid-pitch (33 and 23) and low-pitch (21 and 22) groups. Although the exact contour of the tones might not be wholly preserved, the register distinction can still narrow the possible interpretations to one of two.

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Register distinction

In Mandarin: the only non-controversial one would be the 1st tone as a high-pitch tone.In the same fashion as in Cantonese argued above, we can treat the 2nd tone as a high-pitch tone as well.

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Tones

Tonal

values

1

st

tone

55

2

nd

tone

35

3

rd

tone

214

4

th

tone

51

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Register distinction

For the 4th tone, in many cases it is realized as 53 especially if the following tone starts with a 5.Therefore the 4th tone can be considered a high-pitch tone.

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The 3rd tone is often realized as 211 (half-3rd) if it followed by 1st, 2nd and 4th tone. In this case it is a low-pitch tone. Note that it is rather a low flat tone than a low dipping tone, although it is often abbreviated as 21.If the 3rd tone is followed by another 3rd tone, it is realized as 35, thus a high-pitch tone.

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Register distinction

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Register distinction

Therefore a register distinction in Mandarin would be:

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RegisterTonesHigh1st, 2nd, 4th . If 3rd is followed by another 3rd, then yesLow3rd in most cases (Half 3rd)

Thus the most obvious tonal accommodation is to make the 3

rd

tone a low note, and the contour does not matter that much.

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Register distinction

In this selection, both 3rd tone characters are realized by one low note with no contour.

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Slide21

Neutral Tone

According to 北京大学《现代汉语》A short falling tone after 1st, 2nd, 4th tonesTonal values: 2 after 1st; 3 after 2nd; 1 after 4th;A high short flat tone after 3rdTonal value is 4 Thus in music neutral tone should be higher in pitch than the preceding 3rd tone or lower otherwise.

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Neutral Tone

Note how the neutral tones on “ye” and “de” are realized respectively.Also note the grace notes on xiǎo.

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Ad hoc grace notes

For tonal interpretation, the initial contour is enough for correct identification.E.g. The following pitch contours can be interpreted as the 2nd tone and the 4th tone respectively.

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Ad hoc grace notes

Thus a singer can add ad hoc grace notes to locally accommodate a tonal contour.These need not be written as part of the music score.But if they are not indicated on the score, we probably cannot use them to evaluate the score.

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Ad hoc grace notes

Acciaccatura is especially commonly used for 2nd tone and 4th tone.

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Ad hoc grace notes

Mordents can be used to give a non-flat flavor. If the main note is a high note, it could be interpreted as a second tone.

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Ad hoc grace notes

A special type of portamento in Chinese vocal music can be used to locally accommodate the 4th tone.

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Tonal Congruence Values

ToneseRegister 0.5Shape 0.51stHigh registerFlat contour2ndHigh registerRising contour; Grace notes.3ndLow register;Flat contour;Rising contour (full 3rd or sandhi);Grace notes.4thHigh registerFalling contour;Grace notesNeutral toneHigh after 3rd;Low otherwiseshort flat after 3rd; short falling otherwise

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Tonal Congruence Index

where n is the total number of tones, xi is the tonal congruence value at tone i.

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n=6x1=0+0.5; x2=0+0; x3=0+0.5; x4=0+0; x5=0+0.5; x6=0+0.5ITG=2/6=0.33

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Sample

I

TG

(

电影歌曲

酒神曲

”)

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n=6x1=0+0.5; x2=0+0; x3=0.5+0.5 (full tone, not sung as neutral); x4=0+0.5; x5=0+0; x7=0.5+0.5ITG=3/6=0.5

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Sample

I

TG

(

费翔

故乡的云

”)

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Sample ITG (王菲”我愿意”)

n=5x1=0.5+0.5; x2=0.5+0; x3=0.5+0.5 (neutral); x4=0+0; x5=0.5+0.5ITG=3.5/5=0.7

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Sample ITG (王菲”我愿意”)

n=5x1=0.5+0.5; x2=0.5+0; x3=0.5+0.5; x4=0+0; x5=0.5+0.5ITG=3.5/5=0.7

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n=7x1=0.5+0.5; x2=0.5+0.5; x3=0.5+0.5; x4=0.5+0.5; x5=0.5+0.5; x6=0+0; x7=0.5+0.5ITG=6/7=0.86

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Sample

I

TG

(

李谷一

前门情思大碗茶

”)

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n=5x1=0.5+0.5; x2=0.5+0.5; x3=0.5+0; x4=0.5+0.5; x5=0.5+0.5ITG=4.5/5=0.9

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Sample

I

TG

(

京韵大鼓

)

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Ordering based on samples

Based on the samples, we can order them as follows:酒神曲<故乡的云<我愿意<前门情思大碗茶<京韵大鼓Thus we have an option which song to choose for students.But of course we can compare two whole songs.

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Two Whole Songs

前门情思大碗茶 ITG: 0.68

36

我愿意 ITG: 0.54

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Teaching Implications

What level to introduce singing?Since tones are not always maintained in songs, it would be better for students above the beginning level.For beginning students, they need to establish good tonal accuracy before introduced to singing.

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Teaching Implications

What songs to choose?Students generally prefer popular contemporary songs.Pop songs written in a “folk song” style generally maintain the tonal contours better.If possible, choose contemporary pop songs that maintain tonal contours to a good degree.Thus the implication of my proposed Tonal Congruence Index (ITG ) is that selection of works of vocal music with a higher ITG can minimize any such negative effect on students’ tonal accuracy, if they are indeed a factor in tonal acquisition.

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Slide40

References

Wong, P. and R. Diehl. 2002. “How can the lyrics of a song in a tone language be understood?” Psychology of Music, 30.2, pp202-209. Schelleberg, M. 2013. The Realization of Tone in Singing in Cantonese and Mandarin. PhD Dissertation: Vancouver: UBC.Wee, L. 2011. Linguistic Tone and Musical Tune. To appear in Rint Sybesma et al (eds.) Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Leiden: Brill. 章鸣1998《语言音乐学纲要》,北京: 文化艺术出版社.

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thank you!

Contact me at

hdong@gwu.edu


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