Dissertation Index

Author: O Maidin, Donncha Sean

Title: A Programmer's Environment for Music Analysis

Institution: National University of Ireland at University College Cork

Begun: September 1991

Completed: October 1995


A model for representing music scores in a form suitable for general processing by a music-analyst-programmer is proposed and implemented. Typical input to the system consists of one or more pieces of music which are encoded in a file-based score representation. File-based representations are in a form unsuited for general processing, as they do not provide a suitable level of abstraction for a programmer-analyst. Instead a representation is created giving a programmer's view of the score, which frees the programmer from implementation details, that otherwise would form a substantial barrier to progress. The score representation uses an object-oriented approach to create a natural and robust software environment for the musicologist.

The score representational system is used to explore ways in which it could benefit musicologists. Methodologies for analysing music corpora are presented in a series of analytic examples to illustrate some of the potential of this model. Proving hypotheses or performing analysis on corpora involves the construction of algorithms.

The unique aspects of using a score model for corpus-based musicology are -

- The specification of analytic algorithms imposes a discipline which arises from the necessity for a rigid level of formalism.
- The relationship between the analyst and the material being analysed is put on an objective basis. The methods used have parallels with the action of the scientist investigating a phenomenon. Here the corpus corresponds to the physical world, and the algorithms correspond to the scientific tools.
- Analytic tasks can be undertaken which would otherwise be unfeasible because of human limitations of attentiveness, time, energy and accuracy.

Keywords: score representation, common practice notation, automatic analysis, scale classification, melodic difference, object-oriented, programmer's environment


TOC: 1. Introduction 2. Corpus-based Musicology 3. Survey of Score
Representations and Computer Analyses 4. Goals and Formalisms 5. Score
Views 6. Applications - Verification of Hypotheses 7. Applications -
Investigatory Analyses 8. Achievements, Further Work and Conclusions


Department of Computer Science
University of Limerick
Limerick, Ireland
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