You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index You-Read-It-Here-First
A collection of textual novelties
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
If you want to read the articles here, go ahead, just click on a forum and find a thread that interests you...no need to register! If you want to post something... either new or in response to someone here, then click the Register link above. It's free... and it's fun to write your ideas here. You can even create a "blog" by starting a personal thread in the Daily Life Every Thread A Diary section...

Repetition factor in music

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index -> Units of Measurement
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Repetition factor in music Reply with quote

Often as not, I post to YRIHF to explain myself to others.

While my reactions to events seem perfectly normal and unremarkable
to myself, I've noticed, from time to time, that they do not appear so
to others. One area where I've noted that my reactions differ
from others' is in the area of music appreciation.

I haven't created a model of my musical tastes that would
distinguish between, say, two different "pop" songs, predicting
why one would leave me unimpressed, while another would
remain on my player for days at a time and return unbidden
years later in my mind. If I had such a model I suppose I could
get a good job in the recording industry. What makes a good
pop song, might be equivalent to asking what makes a good "meme"
(see the forum here on YRIHF), and, so far, appears to be deeply
mysterious.

I first formulated a measurement of music appreciation to describe
my dislike of certain genres (see "measuring musical tastes by
the minute" in this forum), but I found it didn't actually *explain*
much in itself.

Enter "repetition factor in music". Repetition is a natural
component of any musical piece, except, perhaps, the most
experimental. Repetition is reassuring, comfortable, and predictable,
all positive attributes in isolation. However, when I find myself getting
edgy or uncomfortable while listening to music, I now start to
measure the repetitions that I notice while listening. I've
hesitated to post this notion is because it is still, after years of
musical pleasure and annoyance, fairly vague and unsatisfying
to someone with an engineering and scientific background like
myself. The vagueness is in capturing what the unit of repetition
should be.

Certainly, in Celtic music (to use my favorite example), one can
find repetitions of "motifs" that range from very short durations
(under a second long), to very long durations (up to a majority
of the length of a song). A note played in a certain way, on a
particular instrument, almost inevitably will recur during the course
of a musical piece. I don't want to echo the comical critique of
Beethoven's music from the time: "too many notes". For the most
part I am talking about sequences of notes, ranging from 2 to, say,
100, that are repeated during the course of a song. The longer
the sequence, the more noticeable the recurrence. There may be
a 30 note sequence that occurs 7-8 times in the course of a song.
There may also be, in the same song, an 8 note sequence that
occurs 20 or more times. Measuring repetition, then may be akin
to taking a Fourier transform of the music, converting from the
time-domain into the "frequency of sequence" domain for each
possible sequence length.

When I start to notice that repetition is a factor in making me
uncomfortable with a piece of music, I believe that this piece
has crossed a critical threshold, though I have not characterized
the formulation of that threshold precisely. Hence, as they say,
further research is needed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index -> Units of Measurement All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group