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.
In other work, I have studied formal representation of time in music, and more recently pitch. I am interested more generally in music software systems which operate in a properly 'musical' manner, and have subsidiary interests in visualisation and educational software.
At undergraduate level, I teach sound synthesis and design and psychology of music. I supervise dissertations in systematic musicology. At postgradute level I am convenor for the module on Critical Thinking.
PhD Supervision Interests
Computational musicology, music information retrieval, intelligent music software systems, formal music theory, Schenkerian analysis
Selected Publications Show all 31 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 → …
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 → 30/09/2017
Analysing Musical Structure
01/01/2008 → …