Ludwig van Beethoven

Researchers of EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) have completed a first analysis of Beethoven’s writing style, applying statistical techniques to unlock recurring patterns, the school communicated.

EPFL researchers are investigating Beethoven’s composition style using statistical techniques « to quantify and explore the patterns that characterize musical structures in the Western classical tradition. They confirm what is expected against the backdrop of music theory for the classical music era, but go beyond a music theoretical approach by statistically characterizing the musical language of Beethoven for the very first time. »

The study is based on the set of compositions known as the Beethoven String Quartets and the results were published in PLOS ONE.

“New state-of-the-art methods in statistics and data science make it possible for us to analyze music in ways that were out of reach for traditional musicology. The young field of Digital Musicology is currently advancing a whole new range of methods and perspectives,” says Martin Rohrmeier who leads EPFL’s Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab (DCML) in the College of Humanities’ Digital Humanities Institute. “The aim of our lab is to understand how music works.”

More information is here.


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