Humdrum homework

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Music 253 Humdrum Homework

Examine the melodic and harmonic properties of the Bach chorale data set. Refer to Humdrum Lab 1 for how to download the chorales (and install the tools useful for the homework).

Melodic intervals

Here is a template for extracting the melodic intervals for the tenor part in the chorales and plotting them in a histogram by percentages:

    extractx -s 2 *.krn | mint | grep -v r | ridx -H | grep -v [[] | \
      sortcount -vp --sort interval -T "Tenor melodic intervals" > melodic-tenor.html

This plot should be displayed when opening up the generated HTML file:

[Move your mouse over the histogram bars to view the numeric values for the percentages.]

Also make plots for bass (spine 1), alto (spine 3), and soprano (spine 4) and visually compare the plots to each other.


1. Which part has the most repetitions (P1 interval)?

2. Which part has the most leaps (intervals greater than 2 or less than -2)?

3. Which stepwise direction is more common, going up a step or down a step. A "step" should be considered the sum of the "m2" and "M2" categories.

Scale Degrees

Harmonic intervals

Here is an example of how to extract the harmonic intervals between the soprano and bass parts:

    extractx -s 1,4 *.krn | hint | ridx -H | grep -v [r-] | sortcount -pv -T "Harmonic intervals between Soprano and Bass" --sort interval  > analysis.html

This plot should be displayed when opening up the generated HTML file:


Make plots comparing each pair of parts bass (spine 1), tenor (spine 2), alto (spine 3), and soprano (spine 4), which is a total of 6 plots.


3. What is the most common harmonic interval between each part pair?