Though the statistical properties of musical compositions have been widely studied, little is known about the statistical nature of musical interaction—a foundation of musical communication. The goal of this study was to uncover the general statistical properties underlying musical interaction by observing two individuals synchronizing rhythms. We found that the interbeat intervals between individuals exhibit scale-free cross-correlations, i.e., the next beat played by an individual is dependent on the entire history (up to several minutes) of their partner’s interbeat intervals. To explain this surprising observation, we introduce a general stochastic model that can also be used to study synchronization phenomena in econophysics and physiology. The scaling laws found in musical interaction are directly applicable to audio production.
Via Ashish Umre