Harmony and Form in Brazilian Choro: A Corpus-Driven Approach to Musical Style Analysis

Abstract

This corpus study constitutes the first quantitative style analysis of Choro, a primarily instrumental music genre that emerged in Brazil in the second half of the 19th century. We evaluate its description in the recent and comprehensive theoretical work A estrutura do Choro (Almada, 2006) by analyzing a set of representative pieces from the Choro Songbook (Chediak, 2009, 2011a,b), a central reference for this genre. We digitized this resource by transcribing the chord symbols and formal structure of all 295 pieces, and publish it as the freely available Choro Songbook Corpus. Our approach uncovers central stylistic traits of this musical idiom on empirical grounds. It thus advances data-driven musical style analysis by studying both harmony and form in a musical genre that lies outside the traditional canon.

Publication
Journal of New Music Research 49(5)
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Fabian C. Moss
Postdoctoral Researcher

Fabian C. Moss is a postdoctoral researcher in the Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab (DCML) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). He was born in Cologne, Germany, and studied Mathematics and Educational Studies at University of Cologne, and Music Education (Major Piano) and Musicology at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln. Working with large symbolic datasets of musical scores and harmonic annotations, he is primarily interested in Computational Music Analysis, Music Theory, Music Cognition, and their mutual relationship.