Posted: Jan 21, 2016 9:00 pm
by John Platko
Ok, I hope everyone had a chance by now to get acquainted with Constructor Theory. David Deutsch and others are doing big things with it like:

Fixing the circular reasoning in Shannon's information theory.

Providing deeper understanding of life (no not that life)

And providing a new framework for quantum theory.

All very heady stuff indeed. I will being using it in more modest way, i.e. to create blues licks. :dance:

I suppose it's fairly obvious why constructor theory provides a great paradigm for developing my heuristic, so I'll just state the basics for the sake of completeness.

At the heart of Constructor theory are constructors which perform a transformation on an input substrate(s) to produce an output substrate. i.e. input substrate(s) -> Constructor -> output substrate. That along with counter-factuals ('X is possible' or 'X is impossible') is all that is needed to define the fundamental laws of - well I'm thinking anything!

Applying this to my little self defined blues universe: Licks are substrates and the constructor is the set of mutations and spawnings that I define. Each specific mutation, e.g. the one that substitutes a rest note for a played note, is a sub-constructor that is a part of the overall constructor that (along with the counter-factuals) defines all possible lick transformations.

The counter-factuals add additional constraints than those implied by the constructor on what licks are, and are not, possible. This is where my metrics like: pitch entropy, rhythm entropy, harmony entropy, sweetness, sourness, average lick tension ( I haven't described that yet but I'll get to it shortly) etc. etc. come in.

By setting parameters, of min and max entropy (or any other metric), the boundaries for the universe for what licks are possible is defined. And other parameters, like max lick density as a function of entropy will guide the distribution of licks within that universe.

That's the overall guiding principle of my heuristic.

Any questions?