Martin A. Rohrmeier
Position: Post Doc
Department: Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Phone: (617) 253-4141
Martin Rohrmeier has received his PhD in Musicology and a MPhil in Musicology from the University of Cambridge.
The aim of Martin’s proposed project is to advance the understanding of the human capacity of musical syntax in a research project that combines cutting edge methodologies in theoretical linguistics and probabilistic computational models.
In its theoretical part, the project will take as a starting point the preliminary theory of musical syntax that I have recently developed (Rohrmeier, 2007, 2011). In collaborative work with the music syntax research group within MIT Linguistics, we will combine expertise in linguistics and music theory to devise formal tests for musical recursion or constituent structure, investigate whether the full range of linguistic features (as specified by minimalist and other linguistic theories) is reflected in musical syntax, and explore how a syntactic framework can model complex musical phenomena such as fauxbourdon style parallel triads, sequential patterns or chromaticisms.
In its computational part, in collaboration with the MIT Computational Cognitive Science group, the projects aims to model musical syntax using probabilistic context-free grammars (PCFG) or related methods using real-world musical corpora.