Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 7(4), pp. 178 - 188
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2019.070403
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Composing Monads for a Musical Performance

Nick Rossiter *, Michael Heather
Computer and Information Sciences, Pandon Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE2 1XE, UK


Music is a testing challenge for formal information systems. Here we apply the full power of category theory to the challenge, involving the topos for data structuring and the monad for process. The topos handles many aspects of the data for a performance including the score and variants, the orchestral players, the conductor and the supporting infrastructure such as funding bodies. The monad as process controls the adjointness between the functors representing articulation and intonation, based on perceived activity in the brain in professional musicians. We present a musical performance as a categorical composition over time signatures that proceed in successive adjoint steps with the monad looking back and its associated comonad looking forward. The physical complexity of each musical sound operates in its respective time-frame, represented by a limit, as a colimit. The formalism can be implemented in a functional programming language such as Haskell.

Music, Performance, Category Theory, Topos, Monad

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Nick Rossiter , Michael Heather , "Composing Monads for a Musical Performance," Sociology and Anthropology, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 178 - 188, 2019. DOI: 10.13189/sa.2019.070403.

(b). APA Format:
Nick Rossiter , Michael Heather (2019). Composing Monads for a Musical Performance. Sociology and Anthropology, 7(4), 178 - 188. DOI: 10.13189/sa.2019.070403.