Mathematically Generated Fife Tunes
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Trying completely to reduce musical composition to a simple mathematical algorithm may be impossible, but mathematics undeniably plays a major role in writing music. To investigate the role of mathematics in musical composition, we created a model that randomly generates music predominantly using a Markov chain. A Markov chain is a set of possible states and the probabilities that a given state will lead to any of the others. For this model, the states were a particular note (or sequence of notes) extracted from a data set of about 200 fife tunes. Using the probabilities as weights, the model then randomly generates a new, fife-tune-like song.
This project was an independent study project through the mathematics department, and was supervised by Dr. Doug Drinen. The results were presented as the following poster at Scholarship Sewanee, and also as a presentation for the Sewanee-Rhodes-Hendrix Math Symposium (hosted by Hendrix 2009). The poster won first place at Scholarship Sewanee, 2009.
SubjectComputer Generated; Perl; Markov; Mathematics; Chain; ABC Music notation; Music; Random; Fife; Tune
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