Advertisement

Minds and Machines

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 329–344 | Cite as

Where does the end begin? Problems in musico-cognitive modeling

  • James Kippen
General Articles
  • 53 Downloads

Abstract

Research with computer systems and musical grammars into improvisation as found in the tabla drumming system of North India has indicated that certain musical “sentences” comprise (a) variable prefixes, and (b) fixed suffixes (or “cadences”) identical with those of their original rhythmic “themes”. It was assumed that the cadence functioned as a kind of target in linear musical space, and yet experiments showed that defining what exactly constituted the cadence was problematic. This paper addresses the problem of the status of cadential patterns, and demonstrates the need for a better understanding and formalization of ambiguity in musico-cognitive processing. It would appear from the discussion that the cadence is not a discrete unit in itself, but just part of an ever-present underlying framework comprising the entire original rhythmic theme. Improvisations (variations), it is suggested, merely break away from and rejoin this framework at important structural points. This endorses the theory of simultaneity. However, the general cognitive implications are still unclear, and further research is required to explore musical ambiguity and the interaction of musical, linguistic, and spatio-motor grammars.

Key words

Tabla drumming improvisation formal grammars experimental ethnomusicology music cognition 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. BailyJohn (1977). ‘Movement Patterns in Playing the Herati dutar’ in JohnBlacking, ed., The Anthropology of the Body, New York, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. BailyJohn (1985). ‘Music Structure and Human Movement’, in PeterHowell, IanCross, and RobertWest, eds., Musical Structure and Cognition, London, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. BelBernard and JamesKippen (1991). ‘Bol Processor Grammars’, in M.Balaban, K.Ebcioglu, and O.Laske, eds., Understanding Music with AI, Menlo Park CA, AAAI Press.Google Scholar
  4. Booth, Gregory (1991). ‘A Classical Model for Teaching Improvisation’, unpublished paper delivered at the Biennial Convention of the Music Educator's National Conference, Washington DC. (Cited with the author's permission.)Google Scholar
  5. ChomskyNoam (1965). Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Cambridge MA, The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. DowlingW. Jay and DaneHarwood (1986). Music Cognition, Orlando, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. GottliebRobert S. (1977). The Major Traditions of North Indian Tabla Drumming (2 vols), Munich, Emil Katzbichler.Google Scholar
  8. KippenJames (1985). ‘The Dialectical Approach: A Methodology for the Analysis of Tabla Music’, International Council for Traditional Music (UK Chapter) Bulletin 12, 4–12.Google Scholar
  9. KippenJames (1986). ‘Computational Techniques in Musical Analysis’, Bulletin of Information on Computing and Anthropology (University of Kent at Canterbury) 4, 1–5.Google Scholar
  10. KippenJames (1987). ‘An Ethnomusicological Approach to the Analysis of Musical Cognition’, Music Perception 5(2), 173–95.Google Scholar
  11. KippenJames (1988a). ‘On the Uses of Computers in Anthropological Research’, Current Anthropology 29(2), 317–20.Google Scholar
  12. KippenJames (1988b). The Tabla of Lucknow: A Cultural Analysis of a Musical Tradition (Cambridge Studies in Ethnomusicology), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kippen, James (1988c). ‘The Bol Processor: An Expert System for the Analysis of Tabla Music’, Paper given at the Computers in Music Research Conference, University of Lancaster, 11–14 April, 1988.Google Scholar
  14. KippenJames (1989). ‘Computers, Fieldwork, and the Analysis of Cultural Systems’, Bulletin of Information on Computing and Anthropology (University of Kent at Canterbury) 7, 1–7.Google Scholar
  15. Kippen, James (1990). ‘Music and the Computer: Some Anthropological Considerations’, in B. Vecchione and B. Bel, eds., Le Fait Musical: Sciences, Technologies, Pratiques, Colloque “Musique et Assistance Informatique” (MAI 90), CRSM-MIM Marseille, France, 3–6 Octobre, 41–50.Google Scholar
  16. KippenJames and BernardBel (1984). ‘Linguistic Study of Rhythm: Computer Models of Tabla Language’, International Society for Traditional Arts Research Newsletter (New Delhi) 2, 28–33.Google Scholar
  17. KippenJames and BernardBel (1989a). ‘Can the Computer Help Resolve the Problem of Ethnographic Description?’, Anthropological Quarterly 62(3), 131–44.Google Scholar
  18. KippenJames and BernardBel (1989b). ‘The Identification and Modelling of a Percussion “Language”, and the Emergence of Musical Concepts in a Machine-Learning Experimental Set-Up’, Computers and the Humanities 23(3), 199–214.Google Scholar
  19. KippenJames and BernardBel (1991). ‘A Pragmatic Application for Computers in Experimental Ethnomusicology’, in SusanHockey and NancyIde (series eds.), IanLancashire (guest ed.), Research in Humanities Computing I: Papers from the 1989 ACH-ALLC Conference, Oxford, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. KippenJames and BernardBel (1992). ‘Modelling Music with Grammars: Formal Language Representation in the Bol Processor’, in A.Marsden and A.Pople, eds., Computer Representations and Models in Music, London, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Laske, Otto (1972). On Problems of a Performance Model for Music, Institute of Sonology, Utrecht State University.Google Scholar
  22. Laske, Otto (1991). ‘Comments on CCARH Directory Review’, Submission to the electronic network bulletin Music Research Digest (music-research@edu.upenn.psych.cattell), November 24, 1991.Google Scholar
  23. RoadsCurtis (1979). ‘Grammars as Representations for Music’, Computer Music Journal 111, 48–58.Google Scholar
  24. SerafineMary Louise (1988). Music as Cognition: The Development of Thought in Sound, New York, Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  25. SlobodaJohn (1985). The Musical Mind: The Cognitive Psychology of Music, Oxford, Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Kippen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of MusicUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations