Concordance

DevonThink Pro has a concordance function that counts all the words in my research database, currently containing a little more than one thousand documents. This might seem like a trivial function, but it really is an interesting read. First there is a bunch of standard words:

Frequency 	Word
---		---
243220		the
111156		and
41456		for
38622		that
34588		The
25630		with
25591		are
18692		this
17210		from
15045		can
...

Interestingly enough, the first “useful” word that turns up is sound followed by music and time:

11490		sound
9839		music
9595		time
9179		musical

Then there are some system oriented words:

6276		data
6010		model
5649		system

A number of other relevant words follow, evenly spread between music, technology and gestures (which fits well with my research):

4951	Music
4909	performance
4509	control
4370	sounds
4358	analysis
4126	audio
4088	movement
4003	gestures
3944	video
3890	instrument
3787	motion
3546	object
3468	pitch
3336	gesture
3314	frequency
3157	human
3144	instruments
3140	body
3053	research
2966	structure
2908	hand
2806	process
2796	design
2793	visual
2782	physical
2695	computer
2666	signal
2607	Computer
2599	synthesis
2597	systems
2557	perception
2523	models
2500	features
2493	function
2433	interaction
2362	position
2324	movements
2193	University
2130	interface
2067	MPEG
2046	sequence
2042	expressive
1946	representation
1902	Musical
1888	speech
1887	method
1842	timbre
1811	mapping
1803	subjects
1786	performer
1749	auditory
1739	play
1712	algorithm
1702	environment
1693	development
1679	Sound
1627	temporal
1624	perceptual
1611	spectral
1576	processing
1552	acoustic
1498	action
1490	recognition

Postscript: You can tell when a PhD student is desperate trying to find all sorts of things to do other than writing that dissertation…

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alexarje

Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.

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