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ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0182.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Algorithmic Composition; Finite State Machine with Datapath; Pure Data; Max/MSP; Paradigm Shift; Sound Synthesis Control
Online: 9 March 2023 (14:13:14 CET)
Music-domain visual programming languages (VPLs) have shown to be Turing complete. However, the common lack of built-in flow control structures can obstruct using VPLs implementing general-purpose algorithms, which harms the direct use of algorithms and algorithm theory in art creation processes using VPLs. In this article, we show how to systematically implement general-purpose algorithms in music-domain visual languages by using the Finite State Machines with Datapath computation model. The results expose a finite state machine and a set of internal state variables that walk paths whose speed can be controlled using a metronome ticks and whose path depends on the initial conditions of the algorithm. These elements can be further mapped to music elements according to the musician's intentions. We demonstrate this technique by implementing Euclid's Greatest Common Divider algorithm and using it to control high-level music elements in an implementation of Terry Riley's In C, and to control audio synthesis parameters in a FM synthesizer.
Mon, 26 December 2022
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0494.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: computational music expressive performance; popular music; music production; Digital Audio Workstation; virtual instruments
Online: 26 December 2022 (15:52:01 CET)
In music, the role of the interpreter is to play her/his part manipulating the performance parameters in order to offer a sonic rendition of the piece capable of conveying specific expressive intentions. Since the 1980s there has been a growing interest in computational expressive music performance (EMP). This research field has two fundamental objectives: the understanding of the phenomenon of human musical interpretation and the automatic generation of expressive performances. Rule based, statistical, machine and deep learning approaches have been proposed, most of them devoted to the classical repertoire, in particular to piano pieces. On the contrary, we present an introduction to the role of expressive performance within popular music and to the contemporary ecology of pop music production, based on the use of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and virtual instruments. After an analysis of the tools related to expressiveness commonly available to modern producers we propose a detailed survey of research into the computational EMP field, highlighting the potential and limits of what is present in literature with respect to the context of popular music, which by its nature cannot be completely superimposed on the classical one. In the concluding discussion we suggest possible lines of future research in the field of computational expressiveness applied to pop music.
Thu, 8 December 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0147.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Opera and Politics; McCarthyism; Aaron Copland; Red Scare; Music and Society; 20th Century Musicology
Online: 8 December 2022 (07:37:38 CET)
Aaron Copland’s only full-length opera, The Tender Land has had a difficult production history. Critics of the 1954 New York City Opera Premiere bemoaned the atypical storyline, the music declared too dry, and the singing too sparse. The opera’s failure to dazzle initial audiences is likely because it was originally written for television. Copland was commissioned to write this opera for television in 1952, but was rejected by NBC in 1953, with no official explanation given as to why. The New York City Opera premiere, therefore, was not an accurate representation of Aaron Copland's vision. The opera eventually did find receptive audiences, each success marked by a smaller, more intimate venue, not unlike the intimacy afforded on a sound stage. Perhaps most notable of these was the touring 1993 University of Minnesota production that performed in barns and farmhouses throughout the Midwest. Through this tour, the opera reached a rural community mirrored in the story, providing much more opportunity for the audience to connect to the characters. However, the question remains what caused NBC to initially reject the opera. This paper exposes the likely political obstacles that prevented Copland’s opera from premiering in its intended medium, and the subsequent consequences of displacing The Tender Land from its television premiere.
Wed, 7 December 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0120.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: overture; opera; oratorio; Romantic Era; 19th century musicology; music theory
Online: 7 December 2022 (08:46:22 CET)
Opera and oratorio overtures exist in an indeterminate state between purely symphonic and dramatic music. While they can be and often are extracted for symphonic programs, they are ultimately tied to the story to which they grant the audience a preview of the story and music yet to come. Those that are easily extracted are so independent due to their structure, one well known to the symphony: the sonata form. In studying overtures from the 19th century, however, one can trace a decline of the sonata form overture for one that is more subservient to the dramatic story soon to follow it. In this paper, three representatives of the early, mid and late period of the highlight this steady shift away from sonata form. Using Hepokoski and Darcy’s Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the Late-Eighteenth-Century Sonata, I will categorize these overtures into one of the five sonata types listed therein. The increasing number of deformations as one moves through the overtures chronologically will illustrate the deliberate decline of use of the sonata form for the overture in favor of a clearer reflection of the upcoming story.
Tue, 6 December 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0097.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Beethoven; Tiedge; Key Characteristics; Lieder; Urania
Online: 6 December 2022 (09:54:16 CET)
What would compel a composer to set the same poem twice? Ludwig van Beethoven first set the text of Christoph Tiedge’s “An Die Hoffnung” (to Hope) between 1804 and 1805, and would later set the poem again, using even more of the text in 1815. While seeking context clues from what is known of his biography is crucial, another avenue of study lies within the pieces themselves. Through the study of key characteristics during Beethoven’s lifetime in addition to what biographical information we know, we can infer Beethoven’s intentions with each setting of the text and how this reflects his changing relationship to the text of “An Die Hoffnung”.
Wed, 5 October 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0039.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Covid-19; digital skills; economy; opera artists; opera industry
Online: 5 October 2022 (12:12:26 CEST)
The coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has emerged as a global phenomenon that significantly affects almost all sectors, irrespective of whether they have a well-established economic system. The inception of COVID-19 pandemic has increased and accelerated the demand for opera industry embrace digit technology to continue to produce performances and reach audiences. The brutality of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected most sectors, and opera artists are significantly affected in the Global South. South Africa, among others, is at the receiving end. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc and exacerbated the existing vulnerability of opera artists. Opera artists have difficulty obtaining employment and finding funding for performing arts organisations have caused seriously challenged opera artists to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study is aimed to examine the quest for new digital skills for opera artists and opera companies during the Covid-19 pandemic. A qualitative research method was adopted using interviews with opera artists, selected retired opera practitioners and managers of opera companies. In this study, scholarly documents were reviewed to yield trustworthy findings. The findings demonstrate a high demand for opera artists to upgrade their current skills to meet the demand for digital skills. This demand for digital skills is partially attributable to the closed and suspension of live theatre performances due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings also reveal that digital connectivity in the performing arts sector become an essential driver of economic growth. This study concludes by affirming that digital skills are key skills required for resuscitating the opera industry.
Tue, 8 March 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0122.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: music therapy; stroke rehabilitation; moments of interest; process research; therapeutic relationship; mixed methods; EEG hyperscanning; social neuroscience; medical anthropology
Online: 8 March 2022 (10:41:32 CET)
Interdisciplinary research into the underlying neural processes of music therapy (MT) and subjective experiences of patients and therapists are largely lacking. The aim of the current study was to assess the feasibility of newly developed procedures (including EEG/ECG hyperscanning, synchronous audio-video monitoring, and qualitative interviews) to study the personal experiences and neuronal dynamics of moments of interest during MT with stroke survivors. The feasibility of our mobile set-up and procedures as well as their clinical implementation in a rehabilitation centre and an acute hospital ward were tested with four phase C patients. Protocols and interviews were used for the documentation and analysis of the feasibility. Recruiting patients for MT sessions was feasible, although data collection on three consecutive weeks was not always possible due to organisational constraints, especially in the hospital with acute ward routines. Research procedures were successfully implemented, and according to interviews, none of the patients reported any burden, tiredness or increased stress due to the research procedures, which lasted approx. 3 hours (ranging from 135min to 209min) for each patient. Implementing the research procedures in a rehabilitation unit with stroke patients was feasible and only small adaptations were made for further research.
Thu, 27 January 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0421.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Music, Power laws, Zipf’s law, Noise profiles, Timescape, Wavelet, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn
Online: 27 January 2022 (12:34:26 CET)
Power law relationships, which describe scaling relationships of data, are powerful information theoretic descriptive tools in many empirical contexts, including that of music. Zipf’s law (pink noise) describes the optimum case of a power law relation where observations are exactly inversely proportional to their rank. Descriptions that approximate a pink noise signature can be said to maximize the amount of information in a signal, and is thus suggestive of a richness of an understanding. This information density of pink noise signatures is not, however, necessarily a desirable quality for explanations in general, which, by definition, “flattens out” some data while highlighting others, ideally those most relevant to an interpretation. The privileging of data most relevant to comprehension corresponds to a red noise relationship, as opposed to the pink noise of Zipf’s law or the white noise of a description that highlights nothing in particular. Here, I explore and evaluate this concept of red noise explanations in the form of analyses of three comparable short piano works: Robert Schumann’s “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen” (no.1 from Kinderszenen op. 15, 1838), Frédéric Chopin’s Prelude op. 28 no. 20 (1838-9), and Felix Mendelssohn’s “Venetianisches Gondellied” (no. 6 from Lieder ohne Worte op. 19b, 1829-30).
Mon, 4 October 2021
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0041.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Decolonisation; Terminology; Dance anthropology; Ethnochoreology; Choreomusical; Epistemology; Linguistic decolonization
Online: 4 October 2021 (10:35:33 CEST)
English has become the world language, which on the one side is a blessing for international communication. On the other side, its dominance tends to make large parts of the world rely on only one language for academic work. This impoverishes the conceptual, expressive and epistemological richness available in all the other languages and makes believe that a translation can bring every concept from one language to another. My aim here is to discuss one concrete problem with a missing concept in English; dance and music as a unity. I will test epistemological arguments; why should we keep dance and music apart and why should we unite them under a new term. I then ask why we do not see concepts from other languages as a resource to improve academic terminology in English and other European languages.
Tue, 30 June 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0359.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Scambi; Bio-Art; Bio-Music; music; counterpoint; process composition; dynamic programming; Needleman-Wunsch algorithm; global alignment
Online: 30 June 2020 (08:17:20 CEST)
The Needleman-Wunsch process is a classic tool in bioinformatics, being a dynamic programming algorithm that performs a pairwise alignment of two input biological sequences, either protein or nucleic acid. A distance matrix between the tokens used in the sequences is also required as input. The distance matrix is used to generate a positional pairwise similarity matrix between the input sequences, which is in turn used to generate a dynamic programming matrix. The best path through the dynamic programming matrix is navigated using a traceback procedure that maximises similarity, inserting gaps as necessary. Needleman-Wunsch can align both nucleic acids or proteins, which use alphabets of size 4 and 20 tokens respectively. It can also be applied to any other kind of sequence where distance matrices can be specified. Here, we apply it to chains of Pousseur’s Scambi electronic music fragments, of which there are 32, and which Pousseur categorised by their sonic properties, thus permitting the consecutive construction of distance, similarity and dynamic programming matrices. Traceback through the dynamic programming matrix thus produces contrapuntal duet compositions in which two Scambi chains are played in the maximally euphonious manner, providing also an illustration of the principles of biological sequence alignment in sound.
Sat, 4 January 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0026.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Scambi; fushi tarazu; Drosophila; BioArt; BioMusic; music; process composition
Online: 4 January 2020 (04:47:51 CET)
The term Bio-Art has entered common usage to describe the interaction between the arts and the biological sciences. Although Bio-Art implies that Bio-Music would be one of its obvious sub-disciplines, the latter term has been much less frequently used. Nevertheless, there has been no shortage of projects that have brought together music and the biological sciences. Most of these projects have allowed the biological data to dictate to a large extent the sound produced, for instance the translation of genome or protein sequences into musical phrases, and therefore may be regarded as process compositions. Here I describe a Bio-Music process composition that derives its biological input from a visual representation of the expression pattern of the gene fushi tarazu in the Drosophila embryo. An equivalent pattern is constructed from the Scambi portfolio of short electronic music fragments created by Henri Pousseur in the 1950s. This general form of the resulting electronic composition follows that of the fushi tarazu pattern, while satisfying the rules of the Scambi compositional framework devised by Pousseur. The range and flexibility of Scambi make it ideally suited to other Bio-Music projects wherever there is a requirement, or desire, to build larger sonic structures from small units.
Wed, 24 July 2019
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: artificial intelligence; popular music; posthuman; creativity; uncanny valley
Online: 24 July 2019 (10:49:29 CEST)
This article presents an overview of the first AI-human collaborated album, Hello World, by SKYGGE, which utilizes Sony’s Flow Machines technologies. This case study is situated within an overview of current and emerging uses of AI in popular music production, and connects those uses with myths and fears that have circulated in discourses concerning the use of AI in general, but also in music specifically. By proposing the concept of an audio uncanny valley in relation to AIPM (artificial intelligence popular music), this article offers a lens through which to examine the more novel and unusual melodies and harmonisations made possible through AI music generation, and questions how this content relates to wider speculations about posthumanism, sincerity, and authenticity in both popular music, and more wider assumptions of anthropocentric creativity. In its documentation of the emergence of a new era of popular music, the AI era, this article surveys: (1) the current landscape of artificial intelligence popular music focusing on the use of Markov models for generative purposes; (2) posthumanist creativity and the potential for an audio uncanny valley; and (3) issues of perceived authenticity in the technologically mediated “voice”.
Mon, 15 April 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0157.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: Guru-Shishya parampara; gharana; Indian Classical Music; MFDFA; MFDXA
Online: 15 April 2019 (10:46:10 CEST)
Indian classical music is entirely based on the “Raga” structures. In Indian classical music, a “Gharana” or school refers to the adherence of a group of musicians to a particular musical style of performing a raga. The objective of this work was to find out if any characteristic acoustic cues exist which discriminates a particular gharana from the other. Another intriguing fact is if the artists of the same gharana keep their singing style unchanged over generations or evolution of music takes place like everything else in nature. In this work, we chose to study the similarities and differences in singing style of some artists from at least four consecutive generations representing four different gharanas using robust non-linear methods. For this, alap parts of a particular raga sung by all the artists were analyzed with the help of non linear multifractal analysis (MFDFA and MFDXA) technique. The spectral width obtained from the MFDFA method gives an estimate of the complexity of the signal whereas the cross correlation coefficient obtained from the MFDXA technique gives the degree of correlation between two nonlinear time series. The observations give a cue in the direction to the scientific recognition of “Guru-Shisya Parampara” (teacher-student tradition)—a hitherto much-heard philosophical term. Moreover the variation in the complexity patterns among various gharanas will give a hint of the characteristic feature of that particular gharana as well as the effect of globalization in the field of classical music happening through past few decades.
Thu, 20 April 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0133.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: quantitative musicology, biodiversity, ecology, interdisciplinary research, music analysis
Online: 20 April 2017 (10:43:40 CEST)
This paper introduces an ecological approach to quantifying diversity in musical compositions. The approach considers notations with distinct pitches and duration as equivalents of species in ecosystems, measures within a composition as equivalents of ecosystems, and the sum of measures (i.e., the entire composition) as a landscape in which ecosystems are embedded. Structural diversity can be calculated at the level of measures (“alpha diversity”) and the entire composition (“gamma diversity”). An additional metric can be derived that quantifies the structural differentiation between measures in a composition (“beta diversity”). We demonstrate the suitability of the approach in music using specifically composed examples and real songs that vary in complexity. We discuss the potential of the approach with selected examples from a potentially ample spectrum of applications within musicology research. The method seems particularly suitability for hypothesis testing to objectively identify many of the intricate phenomena in music. Because the approach extracts information present in the compositions – it lets the songs tell their structure – it can complement more complex modeling approaches used by music scholars. Combined such approaches provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research. They can help to fill knowledge gaps, stimulate further research and increase our understanding of music.
Mon, 27 March 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0199.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: auditory arts; psychiatry; heavy metal music; mental disorder; bipolar; education; awareness
Online: 27 March 2017 (10:45:03 CEST)
1) Background: Bipolar or manic-depressive disorder is a malign mental disease that frequently faces social stigma. Educational and thinking models are needed to increase people’s awareness and understanding of the disorder. The arts have potential to achieve this goal. 2) Methods: This paper builds on the recent use of heavy metal music as a thinking and education model. It emphasizes the artistic component of heavy metal and its potential to characterize the symptomatology during the episodes of (hypo)mania and depression and the recurrence of these episodes. Heavy metal music has diversified into subgenres that become allegorical to both the symptoms of episodes and the recurrence of bipolar cycles. 3) Results: Examples of songs are given that mirror distinct facets of the disorder. 4) Conclusion: Although the links drawn between art (music) and science (psychiatry) are inherently subjective, such connections might be used to trigger a learning process, facilitate judgment and decision-making, and induce affective reactions and memory formation in the listener. The approach may facilitate collaborative efforts and serve healthcare professionals and educators as a communication tool to aid the public’s comprehension of the disease and an associated social paradox: On one hand, bipolar disorder incurs substantial costs to society. On the other hand, it benefits from the creative artistic and scientific endeavors of bipolar individuals from which cultural and political gains may ensue.