EuroMAC Session Proposal Ideas

We are interested in what you think about a potential session proposal for the 2014 EuroMAC in Belgium. What might be a good umbrella concept for the event? What might be an attractive format? Who might be good speakers? What would you like to contribute, if it happens? What topics/methodologies might it include (think beyond rhythm)?

Please post a short pitch for an “umbrella” concept (and imagined format) as a reply to this post; each pitch should be posted as a separate reply so that replies to the pitch can be threaded. Also post individual contributions ideas for self as a separate reply. For optimal usefulness, initial postings should be done by Monday, November 11. There are no strings attached!

‘The Minimalist Impulse in African Musical Creativity’

Visiting Lecture by Professor Kofi Agawu, Princeton University (Wednesday April 10th 2013) now available on YouTube:
Kofi Agawu is Professor of Music at Princeton University, USA and Adjunct Professor at the University of Ghana, Legon. His work has focused on analytical issues in selected repertoires of Western Europe and West Africa. His books include Playing with Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classic Music (1991), which won the Society for Music Theory’s Young Scholar Award in 1994, African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective (1995), Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions (2003) and Music as Discourse: Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music (2008). A Guggenheim Fellow in 1990-91, Professor Agawu received the Dent Medal from the Royal Musical Association in 1992, the Frank Llewellyn Harrison Medal from the Society for Musicology in Ireland in 2009 and the Howard T. Behrman Award from Princeton University in 2011. He was elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.

Asymmetrical Rhythms

Hi everyone.  I’m sorry about the delayed post, I’m still furiously catching up from Charlotte, as I’m sure are many of you.

Pleases read TOUISSANT, G et. al. 2011 “Computational models of symbolic rhythm similarity: Correlation with human Judgments” pages 380-402 & 418-424 only (pdf 1-23 & 39-45). (Feel free to skip experiments 2 and 3; I will summarize them in class).

In preparation for class, I would like everyone to ruminate on the relationships between different mathematical measures of rhythm similarity (symbolic) and human judgment of rhythms (heard) as similar. Specifically, what is the perceptual difference between swap and edit distances? Why do you believe edit distances performed better?  Are there any rhythmic circumstances in which you might expect swap distances to better correlate to perception than edit distances?  Do you have any thoughts on how to “change the edit distance so that it is impervious to counter examples” (421)?  Might it be beneficial to reconstruct “distance” in a different way than the minimum number of required mutations?  If so, how would we proceed?


My aim in these questions is to foster a discussion on: symbolic metrics, what different distances “mean,” experimental design, representation of results, and potential follow-up studies.