Selected Research Projects


Information and neural dynamics in the perception of musical structure (

The aim of the Information Dynamics of Music (IDyOM) project is to relate dynamic changes in the information-theoretic structure of a piece of music with cognitive and neural processes during the ongoing psychological experience of listening to that piece. In particular, the project aims to understand how expectation and surprise can be quantified in terms of measures derived from information theory and related to redundancy reduction in perception, musical aesthetics and music theoretic analysis. The project has several components starting with the development of the information-dynamic models and then using them to make and test predictions about cognitive processes in music perception, neural responses to music and musicological analyses of particular pieces of music.

Purcell Plus

Purcell Plus is an e-Science project funded jointly by AHRC, EPSRC and JISC under their Arts and Humanities e-Science Initiative. It aims to assess the current state of the art of computational musicology and to investigate what it may have to offer the conventional discipline. Like many e-Science projects, Purcell Plus applies computational techniques for dealing with large quantities of data to a musical corpus. Unlike many e-Science target disciplines, however, musicology has not been a naturally data-rich discipline for the past half century and so the effects of applying such techniques are likely to have quite a significant impact. Our corpus consists not only of audio and score encodings, but also of literature regarding Henry Purcell's Fantazias and In Nomines. As a result, as well as methods from computational musicology, we also employ some linguistic computing approaches in analysing our music literature collection and establishing links between these documents and the musical works themselves. The project is funded from 2007 to 2009 and includes a Ph.D due for completion in 2012. See the project's website for further details.

Advanced MUSic Encoding (AMusE)

The AMusE system consists of a set of tools that allow a user to explore the features of a piece of music or a collection, giving access to multiple representations, analytical techniques and algorithms for searching. It was designed to facilitate the sharing of tools and data by providing layered abstracted interfaces. It provides various analytical modules (such as tonal and harmonic labelling and melodic pattern finding) as well as score and MIDI preview. The framework is written in lisp, but can either call external processes or act as a server for interaction over the Internet.

Current development on amuse has three priorities:

  1. to add more principled use of the CHARM specifications (Smaill, Wiggins & Harris, 1993)
  2. to integrate semantic web technologies into the framework at all levels.
  3. to admit the annotation of musicological/music-analytic results in machine-readable form.

Between them, these will make it easier to share data and tools outside of the research group, give greater rigour and clarity to the interface and allow for automated reasoning over corpora.


Online Music Recognition and Search II (OMRAS2), following on from the original OMRAS project, is a collaboration between Goldsmiths and the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London, funded by the EPSRC (Grant numbers: EP/E017614/1 and EP/E02274X/1). The project aims to produce a distributed research environment for music informatics and computational musicology, aiming to change the way that Music Informatics and Computation Musicology research is undertaken. The project runs until June 2010.


Modelling Music Memory and the Perception of Melodic Similarity (M4S) was a 3-year project running from 2006-2009 at the ISMS group in the Computing Department of Goldsmiths, University of London. The project was funded by the British EPSRC (grant reference: EP/D0388551). The project was an interdisciplinary venture connecting perspectives from psychology, computer science, and musicology and focussing on the human cognition of melodies. Among its outcomes are an Open Source software toolbox for melody analysis, 22 presentations at international conferences and events including many papers published in conference proceedings, and 11 journal papers and book chapters, some of which them already published and some of which are still awaiting publication. These webpages document and report the project`s goals and achievements and point as well to the relevant publications where the actual research results can be found in full detail. For a quick overview read the summary of the project as it was conceived in 2006 and the section summarising the results written in 2009.


The principal goal of the European Corpus of Lute Music project (ECOLM, funded by the Arts and Humanities Board) was to store and make accessible to scholars, players and others, full-text encodings of sources of music for the Western-European lute (and other relevant sources), together with graphical images from manuscripts and printed music, such codicological and paleographical detail as is helpful to the potential users, and bibliographical data. The project ran until 2006.

Department of Computing, Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

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