Analysis of musical rhythm complexity measures in a cultural context

Eric Thul, Godfried T. Toussaint

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Eight measures of musical rhythm complexity are compared to each other using two families of real-world rhythms: sub-saharan African timelines and North Indian talas. The complexity measures that are designed to measure syncopation, and that agree with human judgements, also agree with each other across the two families. Thus they may be considered as culturally robust measures, at least for these two families of rhythms. Furthermore, according to these measures the African timelines are more complex than the North Indian talas. On the other hand, the more mathematical measures of complexity are less culturally robust, and suggest that some North Indian talas are more complex, in this sense, than the African timelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM International Conference Proceeding Series - Proceedings of the 2008 C3S2E Conference, C3S2E'08
EditorsBipin C. Desai
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 C3S2E Conference, C3S2E'08 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: May 12 2008May 13 2008

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other2008 C3S2E Conference, C3S2E'08
CityMontreal, QC


  • Experimentation
  • Measurement
  • Performance
  • Verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of musical rhythm complexity measures in a cultural context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this