David Temperley

Professor of Music Theory
Eastman School of Music

Mailing Address
Eastman School of Music
26 Gibbs St.
Rochester, NY 14604
Phone: 585-274-1557 (office), 585-461-3003 (home)
E-mail: dtemperley@esm.rochester.edu
Office: ET 203, Eastman

My primary research area is music cognition. I'm interested in the way humans perceive, process, and mentally represent music, and the possibility of gaining insight into these issues through computational modeling. I'm also interested in the overlap between music cognition and music theory (rhythm and meter, tonality and key, popular music). I have a strong secondary interest in language research: parsing, sentence production / comprehension, and corpus research. I'm also a composer and songwriter.


Detailed C.V.

Research projects

Music and Probability (MIT Press, 2007). (Now available in paperback.) A book exploring issues in music perception and cognition from the perspective of Bayesian probabilistic modeling. At this website you can listen to musical examples and download materials related to the book.

The Melisma Music Analyzer.[Version 1] [Version 2] A computational system for music analysis. It recovers meter, harmony, key, and stream structure from pieces, using MIDI files as input. Version 1 (2000-2003, written in collaboration with Daniel Sleator) is a set of separate modules. Version 2 (2009) is a single integrated program that uses probabilistic logic.

The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures (MIT Press, 2001). A book describing research on computational music analysis. At this website you can listen to midifiles of the musical examples from the book.

Link Grammar Parser. A wide-coverage parser of English, based on an original theory of English syntax. The parser can be tested at this site, and can also be downloaded.

Musical Corpus Analysis. I have recently worked on two musical corpus projects:

A corpus analysis of harmony and melody in rock, in collaboration with Trevor de Clercq
A corpus analysis of common-practice harmony, based on a small body of data from a harmony textbook

A Visual Representation of the English Language. [PowerPoint or PDF] This diagram shows a way of visually representing syntactic probabilities in language. (It should be viewed on a large screen with high magnification, e.g. 200%. The PowerPoint looks a bit better than the PDF.) The logic of the diagram is explained in the explanatory text along the bottom. Feel free to use this for any purpose. If you would like a full-size poster of the diagram, contact me.

Songs and Compositions

Music Cognition at Eastman / University of Rochester