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New aria of interest for geophysicists

AN ITALIAN physicist has come up with a way of distinguishing between pop and classical music using theoretical techniques originally developed for studying earthquakes, reports the journal Physics World.

Inspired, he claims, by Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville, Paolo Diodati of Perugia University used a computer to split the electrical signal from musical recordings into segments one-hundredth of a second long.

He then recorded the number of segments that were higher than a particular threshold and found that for classical music they followed the same statistical patterns as the size and location of earthquakes.

Rock and pop music gave very different results.

'Classical music seems to be at the border of chaos, while 'light' music appears to be totally chaotic, 'Diodati concludes.

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