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Home Activities Distinguished Lectures CANCELLED: Eleanor Selfridge-Field, CCARH, Stanford University, USA: Ear, mind, or brain? Reflections on musical similarity

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CANCELLED: Eleanor Selfridge-Field, CCARH, Stanford University, USA: Ear, mind, or brain? Reflections on musical similarity

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  • Distinguished Lecture
When Apr 26, 2018
from 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Tanna Schulich Hall, 527 Sherbrooke St W
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Attention: due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been CANCELLED.

The lecture will take place in TANNA SCHULICH HALL, followed by a wine and cheese reception in room A832-833 (8th floor of the Elizabeth Wirth New Music Building).


Discussions of musical similarity—what it is and how it can be assessed—run rampant in the real world as well as the academic one.  Efforts to define musical similarity have roved over several disciplines, as the pertinence of the question surfaces at will in diverse quarters.  The quest for a simple method of assessing musical similarity has been pursued in both the academic and the commercial worlds but with highly diverse methods and with little success.  In our own research into the development of digital tools for musical evaluation and query, we have recurrently encountered two problems.  Either the “matches” are too numerous to be useful or they offer a promising statistical result that not convincing to listeners.  Are we failing to formulate the right questions? Or are we misinterpreting the machine-driven answers?  
The full abstract can be viewed here: Eleanor Selfridge-Field - full abstract

Eleanor Selfridge-FieldBiography

Eleanor Selfridge-Field, director of the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities (an affiliate of the Packard Humanities Institute) at Stanford University, has published extensively in music history, digital musicology, and other disciplines. She currently serves as an editor for digital musicology for Frontiers in Digital Humanities, as a board member of the Music Encoding Initiative, and as an adjunct professor of musical informatics at Stanford University.  

Her best known books are Venetian Instrumental Music from Gabrieli to Vivaldi (3rd edn., 1994), Beyond MIDI: The Handbook of Musical Codes (1997), and Song and Season: Science, Culture, and Theatrical Time (2007).  She served as editor of the series Computing in Musicology for fifteen years.  A winner of the Modern Language Association book prize in 2008 for A New Chronology of Venetian Opera (2007), she has been the recipient of numerous travel grants and has served on many grant panels in the US and Europe.  She holds a D.Phil. from Oxford University and other degrees from Columbia and Drew Universities.

[Photo credit: Brent A. Field]

 This lecture is sponsored by Benelux Brasserie Artisanale. 




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