Topological Data Analysis of Korean Music in Jeongganbo: A Cycle Structure

03/11/2021 ∙ by Mai Lan Tran, et al. ∙ 0

Jeongganbo is a unique music representation invented by Sejong the Great. Contrary to the western music notation, the pitch of each note is encrypted and the length is visualized directly in a matrix form in Jeongganbo. We use topological data analysis (TDA) to analyze the Korean music written in Jeongganbo for Suyeonjang, Songuyeo, and Taryong, those well-known pieces played at the palace and among noble community. We are particularly interested in the cycle structure. We first define and determine the node elements of each music, characterized uniquely with its pitch and length. Then we transform the music into a graph and define the distance between the nodes as their adjacent occurrence rate. The graph is used as a point cloud whose homological structure is investigated by measuring the hole structure in each dimension. We identify cycles of each music, match those in Jeongganbo, and show how those cycles are interconnected. The main discovery of this work is that the cycles of Suyeonjang and Songuyeo, categorized as a special type of cyclic music known as Dodeuri, frequently overlap each other when appearing in the music while the cycles found in Taryong, which does not belong to Dodeuri class, appear individually.

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