Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Sound, noise and entropy : an essay on information theory and music creation
Author: Benvenuti, Christian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 4899
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The first significant development on information theory was done in 1948 by its founder, Claude Shannon, and it is now a consolidated discipline. Information theory seeks to quantify information and is connected with the concept of entropy, or the amount of disorder in a system. What information theory has to say about new music is the main focus of this study and it is a subject that must be revised under a new light, as the literature on this particular extrapolation is rare, relying mostly on the view of communication theorists but seldom of composers. In that regard, wearing the “information theory glasses” can be a provoking and inspiring way of looking upon and thinking about music composition. This paper presents some possible directions for the application of information theory in music analysis from the point of view of compositional processes, using as case studies a piece by Elliott Carter and a piece by Phillip Glass. Communication models inspired by the concept of communication noise — composer-intent, composer-notation, composer-performer, and composer-listener — are presented, along with their implications for music creation. This paper also presents the concept of ‘aesthetic noise’ and argues that the concept of ‘infinite information’ from information theory cannot be more than a purely theoretical output. Some of the philosophical implications of the pair information theory-music are discussed, including some reflections on the relationship between information entropy and physics entropy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available