Grouping Well-Formedness Rules and Grouping Preference Rules

Wikis > Glossary > Grouping Well-Formedness Rules and Grouping Preference Rules

Grouping Well-Formedness Rules come Lerdhal and Jackendoff’s (1983) proposal of “a set of principles to account for the segmental structure in music” (Clarke 479). These, along with the Grouping Preference Rules (GPRs), “describe the conditions that determine which of the very large number of possible hierarchical segmentations of any passage of music are actually likely to be perceived by listeners” (Clarke 479). The GPRs consist of three components:

1. Formalized Gestalt principles

Proximity in time
Change in pitch, duration, loudness, or articulation

2. Abstract formal concerns

Principles of symmetry
Equivalence of variants of the same segment or passage

3. Principles of pitch stability

Deliege (1987) empirically investigated the GWFRs and demonstrated the validity of their predictions.