A Faculty Grant from the University of California made this project possible. I thank Susan Youel Simonton for helping me define the measure of melodic originality.
Thematic fame and melodic originality in classical music: A multivariate computer-content analysis1
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 48, Issue 2, pages 206–219, June 1980
How to Cite
Simonton, D. K. (1980), Thematic fame and melodic originality in classical music: A multivariate computer-content analysis. Journal of Personality, 48: 206–219. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1980.tb00828.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received November 7, 1978; revised June 8, 1979.
In order to understand the foundation of eminence in cultural activities, an attempt was made at learning why some works creators produce are more famous than others. This paper specifically investigates the differential fame of 5,046 themes by 10 eminent composers of classical music. Hypotheses derived from past research in creativity and esthetics were tested using a computerized content analysis. The results show that (a) the fame of a musical theme is a positive linear function of melodic originality (rather then a curvilinear inverted-U function), and (b) melodic originality is a positive function of biographical stress and of historical time, and an inverted backwards-J function of age.