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Keywords:

  • Expectation;
  • Probabilistic modeling;
  • Prediction;
  • Musical melody;
  • Pitch;
  • Segmentation;
  • Aesthetics;
  • Creativity

Abstract

Following in a psychological and musicological tradition beginning with Leonard Meyer, and continuing through David Huron, we present a functional, cognitive account of the phenomenon of expectation in music, grounded in computational, probabilistic modeling. We summarize a range of evidence for this approach, from psychology, neuroscience, musicology, linguistics, and creativity studies, and argue that simulating expectation is an important part of understanding a broad range of human faculties, in music and beyond.