Groupoids and Wreath Products of Musical Transformations: A Categorical Approach from poly-Klumpenhouwer Networks

  • Alexandre PopoffEmail author
  • Moreno Andreatta
  • Andrée Ehresmann
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11502)


Klumpenhouwer networks (K-nets) and their recent categorical generalization, poly-Klumpenhouwer networks (PK-nets), are network structures allowing both the analysis of musical objects through the study of the transformations between their constituents, and the comparison of these objects between them. In this work, we propose a groupoid-based approach to transformational music theory, in which transformations of PK-nets are considered rather than ordinary sets of musical objects. We show how groupoids of musical transformations can be constructed, and provide an application of their use in post-tonal music analysis with Berg’s Four pieces for clarinet and piano, Op. 5/2. In a second part, we show how these groupoids are linked to wreath products through the notion of groupoid bisections.


Klumpenhouwer network Transformational music theory Category theory Groupoid Wreath product 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance
  2. 2.IRCAM/CNRS/Sorbonne Université and IRMA-GREAM, Université de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Université de Picardie, LAMFAAmiensFrance

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