Rhythm complexity measures

A comparison of mathematical models of human perception and performance

Eric Thul, Godfried Toussaint

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Thirty two measures of rhythm complexity are compared using three widely different rhythm data sets. Twenty-two of these measures have been investigated in a limited context in the past, and ten new measures are explored here. Some of these measures are mathematically inspired, some were designed to measure syncopation, some were intended to predict various measures of human performance, some are based on constructs from music theory, such as Pressing's cognitive complexity, and others are direct measures of different aspects of human performance, such as perceptual complexity, meter complexity, and performance complexity. In each data set the rhythms are ranked either according to increasing complexity using the judgements of human subjects, or using calculations with the computational models. Spearman rank correlation coefficients are computed between all pairs of rhythm rankings. Then phylogenetic trees are used to visualize and cluster the correlation coefficients. Among the many conclusions evident from the results, there are several observations common to all three data sets that are worthy of note. The syncopation measures form a tight cluster far from other clusters. The human performance measures fall in the same cluster as the syncopation measures. The complexity measures based on statistical properties of the inter-onset-interval histograms are poor predictors of syncopation or human performance complexity. Finally, this research suggests several open problems.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationISMIR 2008 - 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval
    Pages663-668
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
    Event9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, ISMIR 2008 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
    Duration: Sep 14 2008Sep 18 2008

    Other

    Other9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, ISMIR 2008
    CountryUnited States
    CityPhiladelphia, PA
    Period9/14/089/18/08

    Fingerprint

    Mathematical models
    Rhythm
    Mathematical Model
    Syncopation
    Correlation Coefficient

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Music
    • Information Systems

    Cite this

    Thul, E., & Toussaint, G. (2008). Rhythm complexity measures: A comparison of mathematical models of human perception and performance. In ISMIR 2008 - 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval (pp. 663-668)

    Rhythm complexity measures : A comparison of mathematical models of human perception and performance. / Thul, Eric; Toussaint, Godfried.

    ISMIR 2008 - 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. 2008. p. 663-668.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Thul, E & Toussaint, G 2008, Rhythm complexity measures: A comparison of mathematical models of human perception and performance. in ISMIR 2008 - 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. pp. 663-668, 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, ISMIR 2008, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 9/14/08.
    Thul E, Toussaint G. Rhythm complexity measures: A comparison of mathematical models of human perception and performance. In ISMIR 2008 - 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. 2008. p. 663-668
    Thul, Eric ; Toussaint, Godfried. / Rhythm complexity measures : A comparison of mathematical models of human perception and performance. ISMIR 2008 - 9th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. 2008. pp. 663-668
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