Curating The Week: The Neuroscience Of Rhythm, Rhythmical Line Drawings, Music & AI


An article on the neuroscience of rhythm.

“A team of neuroscientists has found that people are biased toward hearing and producing rhythms composed of simple integer ratios — for example, a series of four beats separated by equal time intervals (forming a 1:1:1 ratio).

This holds true for musicians and nonmusicians living in the United States, as well as members of a Bolivian tribe who have little exposure to Western music. However, the researchers found that the Bolivians tended to prefer different ratios than Westerners, and that these ratios corresponded to simple integer ratios found in their music but not in Western music.”

An article on the continuous “Rhythmical Line” drawings of Wacław Szpakowski.

“The drawings, he explains, ‘were experiments with the straight line conducted not in research laboratories but produced spontaneously at various places and random moments since all that was needed to make them was a piece of paper and a pencil.’

“[Szpakowski] insists that ‘a single glance would not be enough,’ and that his were in fact ‘linear ideas,’ with ‘inner content’ accessible only to those who follow the line with their eyes on its journey from left to right: a process not unlike reading.”

An article on music and AI.

“Prompted to write a song in the style of the Beatles, an AI system based at Paris laboratory Flow Machines created the melody and harmony after analyzing a database of over 13,000 tracks in different musical styles, from jazz and pop to Brazilian samba and Broadway musicals. The music that comes from the ‘FlowComposer’ is defined by the limitations set for it – a certain note, chord structure or specific artist to analyze, for example. The result is impressive, though some might say it sounds more like the Super Furry Animals or a polished 13th Floor Elevators than the Fab Four.”

Here is the creepy song:


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