Arts Initiative names eight for Public Art & Engagement Fellowship
By Dan Meisler
From digital analysis of Bach sonatas to mining data from crowdsourced compositions, researchers at the University of Michigan are using modern big data techniques to transform how we understand, create and interact with music.
Four U-M research teams will receive support for projects that apply data science tools like machine learning and data mining to the study of music theory, performance, social media-based music making, and the connection between words and music. The funding is provided under the Data Science for Music Challenge Initiative through the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS).
“MIDAS is excited to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary research at the intersection of data science and music,” said Alfred Hero, co-director of MIDAS and the John H. Holland Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “The four proposals selected will apply and demonstrate some of the most powerful state-of-the-art machine learning and data mining methods to empirical music theory, automated musical accompaniment of text and data-driven analysis of music performance.”
Jason Corey, associate dean for graduate studies and research at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, added: “These new collaborations between our music faculty and engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists will help broaden and deepen our understanding of the complexities of music composition and performance.”
The four projects represent the beginning of MIDAS’ support for the emerging Data Science for Music research. The long-term goal is to build a critical mass of interdisciplinary researchers for sustained development of this research area, which demonstrates the power of data science to transform traditional research disciplines.
Each project will receive $75,000 over a year. The projects are:
The Data Science for Music program is the fifth challenge initiative funded by MIDAS to promote innovation in data science and cross-disciplinary collaboration, while building on existing expertise of U-M researchers. The other four are focused on transportation, health sciences, social sciences and learning analytics.
Hero said the confluence of music and data science was a natural extension.
“The University of Michigan’s combined strengths in data science methodology and music makes us an ideal crucible for discovery and innovation at this intersection,” he said.