Invited talk on multi-dimensional music structure

June 27, 2018

Earlier this month, I was invited to give a talk at the European Music Research Conference. I presented an overview of three recent research projects that all grew, in part, from a shared motivation: to understand musical structure—the way a piece of music is organized—not as a flat, one-dimensional, holistic phenomenon, but as a set of conflicting views of a piece, each view with its own rationale, the various rationales sometimes in conflict and sometimes in harmony each other.

You can watch all the talks given at the conference online, including my own:

The conference was delightful for the breadth of research on display. Besides the usual suspects—projects in music informatics, music perception and cognition, music theory, composition, performance, interface design, etc.—there were also projects in linguistics, medieval history, and even archaeology! (This last one refers to the talk on “rock art soundscapes”, which had nothing to do with Pink Floyd, and everything to do with the sonic properties of sites of prehistoric rock art.)

I’m especially grateful to the conference organizers (Xavier Serra and the Music Technology Group at UPF) for labouring to put the videos online. My video was for a while blocked by YouTube on copyright grounds, due to the minute-long excerpt I used from the Paul Simon song “Can’t Run But”. Lesson learned: in the future I will definitely use sound examples from copyright-free music (or music from artists with less aggressive labels)!