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Analyzing the Evolution of Irish Traditional Music using Python


Celtic music, and more specifically, Irish music has been around for at least a few hundred years now. Being folk music, most of these tunes have been passed down the generations by ear causing many variations of the same tune to co-exist. Even today, as the tunes travel geographically, they develop slight variations according to the players' individual quirks.

Over recent times, websites like []( are beginning to collect well-known tunes in databases made up of player contributions. This particular website features both the abc and midi formats in addition to the staff notation. Players are allowed to contribute their own versions of popular tunes which makes this site very conducive to observing patterns in the variations. This analysis will explore how these tunes changes across their newer versions and what makes some tunes change more than the others. It will define metrics by which tune variations can be quantified and visualized and it will try to unearth common patterns in these variations.

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