Pre-organised session - Formal, Theoretical, and Computational Models in Popular Music Analysis
Chair: Moreno Andreatta
The analysis of popular music is a major research topic in the music-theoretical and analytical community (Covach, 2005). Depending on the emphasis given on the computational aspects, popular music analysis can be considered as a field Music Information Research or MIR (Temperley and de Clercq, 2013) or a sub-discipline of music analysis based on music-theoretical constructions (Bergomi, 2015), some of which use mathematics as a main formalisation language (Tymoczko, 2011; Bigo and Andreatta, 2014). Nevertheless, far from limiting our scope to mathematically-driven approaches, we want to also include theoretical models which are based on historical and aesthetic considerations. The aim of this session is to confront different formal, music-theoretical, and computational perspectives in the analysis of popular music. Far from limiting our scope to a musical repertoire based on recording processes, the category of popular music we are using includes musical expressions and genres such as pop, rock, jazz and chanson. The session will show different music-theoretical approaches in the domain of popular music analysis, some of which uses advanced mathematical models based on algebraic, geometrical and topological formalizations of musical structures. Statistical methods, underlying corpora analysis, are systematically confronted with more structural models, as well as with historical and esthetical approaches, particularly around the notion of “form” in popular music. The interplay between all these formal, theoretical and computational models has deep consequences in the way in which the field of MIR may be integrated within the wider academic field of popular music analysis.