Cantometrics Revisited


The late American musicologist Alan Lomax's attempt in the 1960s to find patterns by comparing the ways in which people sing in different folk traditions around the world -- "Cantometrics" -- was widely discredited by ethnomusicologists in the ensuing decades. I've been learning about the Dutch geneticist Armand Leroi's more recent work -- which he calls "Neo-Cantometrics" -- on applying the rules of evolutionary biology to Lomax's theories. Leroi uses an algorithm known as "Grouper" and large amounts of computing power to hunt for patterns … [Read more...]