Redefining Pitch Proximity: Tessitura and Mobility as Constraints on Melodic Intervals

@article{Hippel2000RedefiningPP,
  title={Redefining Pitch Proximity: Tessitura and Mobility as Constraints on Melodic Intervals},
  author={Paul T. von Hippel},
  journal={Music Perception},
  year={2000},
  volume={17},
  pages={315-327}
}
In descriptions of melodic structure, "pitch proximity" is usually defined as the tendency for small pitch intervals to outnumber large ones. This definition is valid as far as it goes; however, an alternative definition is preferable. The alternative defines pitch proximity in terms of two more basic constraints—a constraint on tessitura (or pitch distribution) and a constraint on "mobility" (or freedom of motion). This new definition offers several advantages. Whereas the usual definition… 

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In the period considered here the variance of the frequency distributions of pitch grows from 3 to 13 and the mean value of the kurtosis of the intervals of consecutive tones grows from 5 to 15 and splits up in recent times into two distinct values.