Finite Music

Musical Geniuses:

For all practical purposes, is there a finite number of possibilities of rhythms/progressions that can occur in one 4/4 measure?

I’m assuming the following:

  • A limited number of ways to count the measure: half Time, quarter time, cut time. (3 possibilities of interpreting the 4/4 division)
  • There are Lots of ways to divide the measure rhythmically. This is where it gets confusing for me. Whole note, Half Note, Quarter Note, Eighth note, sixteeth note, thirty-second note, half note triplet, quarter note triplet, eighth note triplet, sixteenth note triplet, thirty-second note triplet, and duples, 5s, etc. Not to mention the dots and double dots. What am I missing here?
  • From C to C you have twelve tones. Let’s cover 9 octaves to be generous. That’s 108 notes.
  • There is also a limited amount of terms to define dynamics, accent styles, etc.

So with all of these limits, although a very very large number of combinations, is the number of melodies that will ever be composed inside of a single 4/4 measure finite?

Without getting painstakingly impractical (giving different dynamics to each note, etc.), I’m going to have to say YES as the answer to this question.

Now, to write a program that will generate all of these possibilities, and copyright them all. )

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About andyhillky
I'm cool.

3 Responses to Finite Music

  1. Roni says:

    That made me laugh. I didn’t think that you were that big of a band nerd. LOL

  2. tim says:

    I wonder how intellectual property laws would apply to such a more practical implementation of your “program” =). Seriously though, could someone create a cgi person in the likeness of a “superstar” and not pay royalties? I was wondering about this the other day, how could the laws prevent someone from creating some form of digital personality, either 3d character model or voice transformation (filter, etc) that is similar to that of a celebrity?

    Train an AI “actor” to “act”, give it a 3d model/wardrobe, etc. and demand $20mil per movie. Now that would be interesting..

  3. tim says:

    Ok.. after re-reading my comment.. s/a more practical/an equally impractical/ig;

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