ISMS Group

Harmony Workshop (11/02/10)

Raymond Whorley: Development of Techniques for the Computational Modelling of Harmony

This research is concerned with the development of representational and modelling techniques employed in the construction of statistical models of four-part harmony. Multiple viewpoint systems have been chosen to represent both surface and underlying musical structure, and it is this framework, along with Prediction by Partial Match (PPM), which will be developed during this work. Three versions of the framework are described, starting with the strictest possible application of multiple viewpoints and PPM, and then extending and generalising a little. Some implementation details are reported, as are some preliminary results.

Bruno Gingras: Functional ambiguities in Baroque counterpoint: A proposal for a new taxonomy

The publication of Daniel Harrison's Harmonic Function in Chromatic Music spurred a renewed interest in the analysis of harmonically ambiguous passages in late nineteenth-century music. However, little scholarly attention has been devoted to equally intriguing passages written more than a century earlier. Yet, Baroque polyphony, and especially the music of J.S. Bach, is rife with telescoped harmonies and assorted functional collisions. Drawing on analytical methods introduced by Harrison and further developed by Kevin Swinden and Deborah Rifkin, I propose a taxonomy of ambiguous simultaneities in Baroque music, ordered according to their level of complexity in the manner of William Empson's typology of literary ambiguities. Through the analysis of excerpts of keyboard music from Bach, Handel, and Couperin, this paper describes commonalities and differences among three types of ambiguity identified as "functional anticipation," "functional collision," and "functional juxtaposition." Motivic repetition is established as a prerequisite to the emergence of such ambiguities, which are often generated by a conflict between the "functional identity" of the motive and the harmonic context implied by concurrent voices. The paper concludes with a reflection on the aesthetic role of these ambiguities in Baroque contrapuntal music.

Thomas Praetzlich: Prediction/generation of musical chord sequences.

The goal of this research is the development of a musical chord prediction system using the IDyOM model (which is based on the PPM algorithm). A multiple viewpoint system to represent chord structures has been developed and will be explained in some detail.

Department of Computing, Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

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