Conceptual spaces of metre and rhythm

Forth, Jamie and Wiggins, Geraint A.. 2012. 'Conceptual spaces of metre and rhythm'. In: 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC). Thessaloniki, Greece. [Conference or Workshop Item]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

We introduce a formalisation of metrical-rhythmic concepts within
Gärdenfors' theory of conceptual space. The conceptual spaces
framework is a cognitive theory of representation in which concepts
are represented geometrically within perceptually grounded and
variably weighted quality dimensions. Distance corresponds to
conceptual dissimilarity. Informed by London's psychological theory of
metre as a process of entrainment, two conceptual space models are
developed, each designed to encapsulate salient aspects of the
experience of metrically organised rhythmic structure. As a basis for
defining each conceptual space, we first develop a symbolic
formalisation of London's theory in terms of metrical trees, taking
into account isochronous and non-isochronous structures. The first
conceptual space represents metrical concepts as hierarchical
structures of periodic components. The second extends this
representation to include the internal sequential structure of
periodic cycles. The geometry is defined in terms of the symbolic
formulation, and the mappings between the levels of representation
associate metrical tree structures with points in geometrical
space. Expressively varied metres are naturally represented in the
space as regions surrounding prototypical metrical points. The
developed models are evaluated within a genre classification task
involving stratified 10x10-fold cross-validation over a labelled
dataset of rhythmically distinctive musical genres using
k-nearest-neighbour clustering. The models achieve classification
accuracies of 77% and 80% respectively, with respect to a tempo-only
base-line of 48%.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


Rhythm; Metre; Conceptual space; Computational model

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Intelligent Sound and Music Systems (ISMS)


July 2012Published

Event Location:

Thessaloniki, Greece

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

27 Jun 2013 07:36

Last Modified:

07 Jun 2021 14:36


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)