record

Thesis Info

LABS ID
00104
Title
The Structure, Perception and Generation of Musical Patterns
Author
M. Nyssim Lefford
2nd Author
3rd Author
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy in Media Arts and Sciences
Year
2004
Number of Pages
152
University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis Supervisor
Barry Vercoe
Supervisor e-mail
bv AT media.mit.edu
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
English
Department / Discipline
Media Arts and Sciences/Music Perception and Cognition
Languages Familiar to Author
English
URL where full thesis can be found
Keywords
Music, Generative Process, Perception, Composing, Rhythm
Abstract: 200-400 words
Structure distinguishes music from noise. When formulating that structure, musical artists rely on both mental representations and sensory perceptions to organize pitch, rhythm, harmony, timbre and dynamics into musical patterns. The generative process may be compared to playing a game, with goals, constraints, rules and strategies. In this study, games serve as a model for the interrelated mechanisms of music creation, and provide a format for an experimental technique that constrains creators as they generate simple rhythmic patterns. Correlations between subjects’ responses and across experiments with varied constraints provide insight into how structure is defined in situ and how constraints impact creators’ perceptions and decisions. Through the music composition games we investigate the nature of generative strategizing, refine a method for observing the generative process, and model the interconnecting components of a generative decision. The patterns produced in these games and the findings derived from observing how the games are played elucidate the roles of metric inference, preference and the perception of similarity in the generative process, and lead us to a representation of generative decision tied to a creator’s perception of structure.