Complex Networks of Harmonic Structure in Classical Music

  • Florian Gomez
  • Tom Lorimer
  • Ruedi Stoop
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-08672-9_32

Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 438)
Cite this paper as:
Gomez F., Lorimer T., Stoop R. (2014) Complex Networks of Harmonic Structure in Classical Music. In: Mladenov V.M., Ivanov P.C. (eds) Nonlinear Dynamics of Electronic Systems. NDES 2014. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 438. Springer, Cham

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.

Keywords

Complex Networks Music Harmony Artificial Music 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Gomez
    • 1
  • Tom Lorimer
    • 1
  • Ruedi Stoop
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of NeuroinformaticsUniversity of Zurich and ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations