Towards a Measure for Characterizing the Informational Content of Audio Signals and the Relation between Complexity and Auditory Encoding

Daniel Guerrero, Pedro Rivera, Gerardo Febres, and Carlos Gershenson

Entropy 2021, 23(12), 1613

The accurate description of a complex process should take into account not only the interacting elements involved but also the scale of the description. Therefore, there can not be a single measure for describing the associated complexity of a process nor a single metric applicable in all scenarios. This article introduces a framework based on multiscale entropy to characterize the complexity associated with the most identifiable characteristic of songs: the melody. We are particularly interested in measuring the complexity of popular songs and identifying levels of complexity that statistically explain the listeners’ preferences. We analyze the relationship between complexity and popularity using a database of popular songs and their relative position in a preferences ranking. There is a tendency toward a positive association between complexity and acceptance (success) of a song that is, however, not significant after adjusting for multiple testing.

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