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Complex Networks of Harmonic Structure in Classical Music - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Gomez, F; Lorimer, T; Stoop, R (2014). Complex Networks of Harmonic Structure in Classical Music. In: Mladenov, Valeri M; Ivanov, Plamen Ch. Springer Communications in Computer and Information Science. Berlin, Germany: Springer, 262-269.

Abstract

Music is a ubiquitous, complex and defining phenomenon of human culture. We create and analyze complex networks representing harmonic transitions in eight selected compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. While all resulting networks exhibit the typical ‘small-world’-characteristics, they clearly differ in their degree distributions. Some of the degree distributions are well fit by a power-law, others by an exponential, and some by neither. This seems to preclude the necessity of a scale-free degree distribution for music to be appealing. To obtain a quality measure for the network representation, we design a simple algorithm that generates artificial polyphonic music, which also exhibits the different styles of composition underlying the various pieces.

Abstract

Music is a ubiquitous, complex and defining phenomenon of human culture. We create and analyze complex networks representing harmonic transitions in eight selected compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. While all resulting networks exhibit the typical ‘small-world’-characteristics, they clearly differ in their degree distributions. Some of the degree distributions are well fit by a power-law, others by an exponential, and some by neither. This seems to preclude the necessity of a scale-free degree distribution for music to be appealing. To obtain a quality measure for the network representation, we design a simple algorithm that generates artificial polyphonic music, which also exhibits the different styles of composition underlying the various pieces.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:05 Feb 2015 09:41
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:01
Publisher:Springer
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08672-9_32
Related URLs:http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-08672-9_32

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