Zipf's law and the creation of musical context

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dc.contributor.author Zanette, Damián H.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-11T18:24:45Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-11T18:24:45Z
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.citation Ziv, N. & Eitan, Z. (2007). Themes as prototypes: Similarity judgments and categorization tasks in musical contexts. Musicae Scientiae, Discussion Forum 4A, 99-133.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19326
dc.description.abstract   This article discusses the extension of the notion of context from linguistics to the domain of music. In language, the statistical regularity known as Zipf s law which concerns the frequency of usage of different words has been quantitatively related to the process of text generation. The connection is established by Simon s model, on the basis of a few assumptions regarding the accompanying creation of context. This model captures the essential mechanism of repetition of perceptual elements, which underlies the construction of a structured, comprehensible message. Here, it is shown that the statistics of note usage in musical compositions are compatible with the predictions of Simon s model. This result, which gives objective support to the conceptual likeness of context in language and music, is obtained through automatic analysis of the digital versions of several compositions. As a by-product, a quantitative measure of context definiteness is introduced, and used to compare tonal and atonal works.     en
dc.language.iso eng en
dc.title Zipf's law and the creation of musical context en
dc.type Article en

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