Theoretical outline of a hybrid musical system

Damián Keller
Conrado Silva

Departamento de Música Universidade de Brasília
Brasília - DF - Brasil


Current approaches to musical research place a strong emphasis either on sound production - synthesis, algorithmic composition - or on cognitive models - information processing. As a way to start ploughing a common ground we outline a framework where musical structure is determined by the interaction of three inter-dependent aspects: sound system (physical), perceptual system (psychological) and social system. These are interlinked dynamically and their interaction provides a transformation of the state of each system. Information is defined by the range and rate of transformation of the elements in the physical system, being periodicity and entropy the two opposing factors that act on it. The probability that a specific information will be processed and transmited by the perceptual system defines its state.We view each musical syntax as a sub-set of a greater system that includes the different forms of western music, defining observation in three levels: sound, syntax and morphology. The final output of the model - which depends on the probability thal the combination of the present states will allow the processing of a given information - should provide a way to observe and compare the reaction of systems to the content of various musical phenomena.