Keyvan Yahya

Information Theory and Traditional Persian Music (26/07/11)

For more than 30 years, the physical and psychological interpretations of music have been growing and so many authors carried out various researches on music. But through such investigations, in the latest years cognitive studies of music based on neuroscience findings has given a considerable weight among other tendencies. But among these interdisciplinary works, Information theory could has convinced the theorists that it can offer an objective measurable tool to evaluate the content of musical pieces in terms of what Shannon introduced as the essential concepts of information theory such as entropy and cross entropy. In other hand, it could be clearly seen that in spite of the physical and psychological approaches which tend to evaluate the outer aspects of music, the information theory would provide a framework to find out what really happens in inner layers of musical pieces. Since 30 years ago, a few numbers of authors tried to connect the information concepts to music such as Meyer (1957) and Cohen (1962). In this present, we will indicate how the information theory could be applied to work on the Persian traditional music which consists of the 7 parts named "Dastgah". Despite western classical music, the Persian music obeys some essential rules through which we can reach the new results via the new formulation of cross measuring and stochastic modeling of music. These results can be generalized and expanded in the other fields. Persian music has a unique and specific attribute which made it Persian. This is in fact cycling of melody around two notes called "Shahid" and "Iest" that have the computational model changed to a new formulation which will be describe. These changes include a new probability basis on which our model would be constructed.

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

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