Musical tension curves and its applications

Min Joon Yoo, In Kwon Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We suggest a graphical representation of the musical tension flow in tonal music using a piecewise parametric curve, which is a function of time illustrating the changing degree of tension in a corresponding chord progression. The tension curve can be edited by using conventional curve editing techniques to reharmonize the original music with reflecting the user's demand to control the tension of music. We introduce three different methods to measure the tension of a chord in terms of a specific key, which can be used to represent the tension of the chord numerically. Then, by interpolating the series of numerical tension values, a tension curve is constructed. In this paper, we show the tension curve editing method can be effectively used in several interesting applications: enhancing or weakening the overall feeling of tension in a whole song, the local control of tension in a specific region of music, the progressive transition of tension flow from source to target chord progressions, and natural connection of two songs with maintaining the smoothness of the tension flow.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventInternational Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2006 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 2006 Nov 62006 Nov 11


OtherInternational Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Music


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