Honing, H. (1993). Issues in the representation of time and structure in music. Contemporary Music Review, 9, 221-239.


This article discusses the issues in the design of a representational system for music. Following decisions as to the primitives of such a system, their time structure and general structuring is discussed. Most of the issues are presented as controversies, using extremes to clarify the underlying problems. Associating time intervals and their constraints with the components of musical structure turns out to be essential. These constraints on time intervals model an important characteristic of musical knowledge and should be part of the representation, i.e. part of the syntax. It is concluded that a representation of music should, in the short run, be made as declarative, explicit and formal as possible, while actively awaiting representation languages that can deal with the presented issues in a more flexible way.

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