Computational Music Archiving as Physical Culture Theory

  • Rolf BaderEmail author
Part of the Current Research in Systematic Musicology book series (CRSM, volume 5)


The framework of the Computational Music and Sound Archive (COMSAR) is discussed. The aim is to analyze and sort musical pieces of music from all over the world with computational tools. Its analysis is based on Music Information Retrieval (MIR) tools, the sorting algorithms used are Hidden-Markov models and self-organazing Kohonen maps (SOM). Different kinds of systematizations like taxonomies, self-organazing systems as well as bottom-up methods with physiological motivation are discussed, next to the basic signal-processing algorithms. Further implementations include musical instrument geometries with their radiation characteristics as measured by microphone arrays, as well as the vibrational reconstruction of these instruments using physical modeling. Practically the aim is a search engine for music which is based on musical parameters like pitch, rhythm, tonality, form or timbre using methods close to neuronal and physiological mechanisms. Still the concept also suggests a culture theory based on physical mechanisms and parameters, and therefore omits speculation and theoretical overload.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systematic Musicology, University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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