Some Aspects of Pedagogical Corpora

Christopher WM. White


This essay focuses on the characteristics of corpora drawn from pedagogical materials and contrasts them with the properties of corpora of larger repertoires. Two case studies show pedagogical corpora to contain relatively more chromaticism, and to devote more of their probability mass to low-frequency events. This is likely due to the formatting of and motivation behind classroom materials (for example, focusing proportionately more resources on difficult concepts). I argue that my observations challenge the utility of using pedagogical corpora within research into implicit learning. I also suggest that these datasets are uniquely situated to yield insights into explicit learning, and into how musical traditions are represented in the classroom.


corpus analysis; pedagogy; chromaticism; music theory; harmony

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