Dr Alan MarsdenSenior Lecturer
Personal website: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/marsdena
I am interested in scientific and mathematical approaches to music, not because I think music can be reduced to formulae—I believe it cannot—but because we learn a lot in the attempt. Furthermore, with computer tools, a systematic approach allows us to do interesting musical things. Since July 2004, I have been editor of the leading journal in the area of scientific, systematic and technological research in music, the Journal of New Music Research.
My principal research objective is to develop computational systems which allow us to reach a deeper understanding of how music presents an aural environment which captivates a listener's attention. To this end, I have developed software which implements some aspects of Schenkerian theory (a quasi-grammatical theory of music which reveals underlying hierarchical structures). I am also interested in computational methods which allow us to extract information or test theories on large datasets of music, whether in the form or audio recordings or representations of scores.
I am interested in extending some of these computational techniques to the study of visual art, in particular through the application of information theory.
I teach modules on the psychology of perception as it applies to the arts and on sound synthesis and design. I am responsible for final year dissertations.
PhD Supervision Interests
Computational musicology, music information retrieval, intelligent music software systems, formal music theory, digital arts research
Selected Publications Show all 33 publications
Music analysis by computer: ontology and epistemology
Marsden, A. 2016 In: Computational music analysis. Springer p. 3-28. 26 p.
Analysing symbolic music with probabilistic grammars
Abdallah, S., Gold, N., Marsden, A. 2016 In: Computational music analysis. Springer p. 157-189. 33 p.
Improving optical music recognition by combining outputs from multiple sources
Padilla Martin-Caro, V.M., McLean, A., Marsden, A.A., Ng, K. 10/2015 In: Proceedings of the 16th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference. p. 517-523.
Interrogating melodic similarity: a definitive phenomenon or the product of interpretation?
Marsden, A. 2012 In: Journal of New Music Research. 41, 4, p. 323-335. 13 p.
Position paper: Counselling a better relationship between mathematics and musicology; Response to Guerino Mazzola; Response to Geraint Wiggins; Final response: Ontology, epistemology, and some research proposals
Marsden, A. 2012 In: Journal of Mathematics and Music. 6, 2, p. 145-153, 103-106, 125-128, 161-167.
Schenkerian analysis by computer: a proof of concept
Marsden, A. 09/2010 In: Journal of New Music Research. 39, 3, p. 269-289. 21 p.
'What was the question?': music analysis and the computer.
Marsden, A. 2009 In: Modern Methods for Musicology. Farnham : Ashgate p. 137-147. 11 p. ISBN: 9780754673026.
BRIDGE Fellowship: Probabilistic parsing of music
11/03/2017 → 22/04/2017
Institutional Sponsorship 2015
01/06/2015 → 31/03/2016
An integrated audio-symbolic model of music similarity
01/09/2014 → 31/10/2015
Optical Music Recognition from Multiple Sources
01/01/2014 → 31/03/2015
01/10/2013 → 31/12/2017
Analysing Musical Structure
01/01/2008 → 30/04/2008