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EPFL DH Research Seminar – Comparative musicology: The science of the world’s music

On February 10th, EPFL’s Digital Humanities Institute (DHI) will host Patrick Savage of Keio University SFC for the next virtual edition of its DH Research Seminar.

The DH Research Seminar is a series of talks given by researchers from a wide range of backgrounds. It aims to  present the vast array of subjects covered by digital humanities. The presentations are followed by a Q&A session.

The title of Savage’s talk, Comparative musicology: The science of the world’s music, is also the title of his first book, which is currently under contract with Oxford University Press.

At the DH Research Seminar, Savage will synthesize recent advances to outline a new unified theoretical/methodological framework to understand and compare all of the world’s music. This framework takes advantage of new scientific theories and methods – particularly from advances in computer science, psychology, genetic anthropology, and cultural evolution – to apply comparative musicological research to answer longstanding questions about the origins of music and to contemporary issues including music copyright law and UNESCO policy. In doing so, he will argue for an inclusive, multidisciplinary field that combines the qualitative methods traditionally employed by musicologists and cultural anthropologists with quantitative methods from the natural sciences.

Those interested in attending can connect via Zoom at the following link:

About the speaker

Patrick Savage is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio SFC in Japan, where he directs the CompMusic Lab for comparative and computational musicology. Previously, he received his MSc in Psychology from McMaster University, PhD in Ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of the Arts, and pursued a postdoc in the University of Oxford School of Anthropology. His research focuses on using science to understand cross-cultural diversity and unity in human music. His research has been featured in high-profile outlets including NaturePNASThe New York Times, and The Economist.