Patterns in music

Event Date: 
Thursday, 7 December, 2017 - 13:00
Tinka Majaron, MSc

Even a small child can recognize patterns in music. Having that in mind, is it reasonable to look for patterns using statistics and computers? Statistically speaking, almost nothing changes, if we modify a single note in a song, but in musical terms the difference is enormous. Musical composition is not just a series of decisions on notes,  so at first glance it would seem that music and statistics have nothing in common. The truth is quite opposite, only by using statistics (and computers) we can see some surprising patterns.

Around the world there are many researches in the field of statistical analysis of music – computers can identify the type of music, write a song in a certain style and so on. In my research, I was looking for the simplest patterns in music that would tell something to the musicologist who would like to analyze one specific composition or composer.

This lecture would be the presentation of my journey towards these patterns  with the following itinerary:

  • the basics of musical theory,
  • converting musical notes into numbers,
  • analysing a melody using the R programming language,
  • looking at the most repeated patterns with a length from 4 to 31 notes (from motive to theme),
  • music (at the last stop we must hear the results).

About IBMI

Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Informatics (IBMI), formerly Institute for BioMedical Informatics (so still IBMI) was founded by the Faculty of Medicine as a result of a need for a unit which would perform, or coordinate, tasks related to data analysis and providing information, relevant for research in medicine. The programme of the institute, and its development, have been adjusting thorugh time to changes in financing and technological progress, but the basic aim remain the same: to support research in medicine. This is achieved through the following tasks:


Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine
Vrazov trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana

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