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Message posted on 19/10/2020

"Making music together"; fyi

Mark W. Johnson and Loet Leydesdorff

Redundancies in the Communication of Music:

An operationalization of Schutz’s “Making Music Together.

Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 1-17 doi: (Open Access)

We elaborate Alfred Schutz’s theory of musical communication empirically. Our technique for analysing musical communication aligns Schutz’s sociological theory with the mathematics of anticipatory systems. Music, we argue, can be considered as an anticipatory system which articulates through its diachronic unfolding, fundamental symmetries which can be traced back to its initial moments. Following Bohm and Dubois we argue that these symmetries are present in fractal structures which gradually increase in definition as the music progresses. Critically, we focus on the role of redundancy in this process of providing increasing definition.

By analysing the entropy of musical data—Bach’s Sinfonia no. 9—we show how graphs of relative entropies can be produced from which a fractal is constructed. In arguing that coherence in music can be established through the alignment of self-similar patterns, the connection between Dubois’ anticipatory systems and Schutz’s characterisation of the dimensions of musical communication shows how redundancy underlies musical coherence.

** apologies for cross-postings

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