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Non-Gaussian distributions of melodic intervals in music: The Lévy-stable approximation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8279-5163
Musikinstitutet Betel, Bromma Folkhögskola.
2015 (English)In: Europhysics letters, ISSN 0295-5075, E-ISSN 1286-4854, Vol. 112, no 4, 40003Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The analysis of structural patterns in music is of interest in order to increase ourfundamental understanding of music, as well as for devising algorithms for computer-generatedmusic, so called algorithmic composition. Musical melodies can be analyzed in terms of a “music walk” between the pitches of successive tones in a notescript, in analogy with the “random walk”model commonly used in physics. We find that the distribution of melodic intervals between tones can be approximated with a L´evy-stable distribution. Since music also exibits self-affine scaling,we propose that the “music walk” should be modelled as a L´evy motion. We find that the L´evy motion model captures basic structural patterns in classical as well as in folk music.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EDP Sciences, 2015. Vol. 112, no 4, 40003
National Category
Media Engineering Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267964DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/112/40003ISI: 000367165100003OAI: diva2:875078
Available from: 2015-11-30 Created: 2015-11-30 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Niklasson, Gunnar A.
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