This study is a tentative essay of formalization of the concept of Musical Relevance. Even if it is conceived in the framework of computationalism, until now Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory has no implementation. Moreover it has never been applied to the case of musical thinking.Our claim is that the application to music of the concept of Cognitive Relevance would permit to partially explain hearers’ behavior and composers’ choices. An efficient implementation could also give a support to the compositional decisions. The investigation of the plausibility of a computational model of Musical Relevance could contribute to the formulation of a general theory of musical cognition.We suggest to unify Relevance Theory with Generative Theory of Tonal Music, in order to formulate an algorithm for the calculation of Musical Relevance, approximating a model of relevance-guided musical reasoning (understanding/creating). Finally we analyze some aesthetical consequences of applying Relevance Theory to music.
Keywords: Generative Theory of Tonal Music; Tonal Pitch Space; tonal tension; musical effect; Relevance Theory; processing effort.