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Moreno ANDREATTA, Erica BISESI, José Luis BESADA and Corentin GUICHAOUA will present their works on the 8th of December at 2.30 PM at IRCAM, salle Stravinsky. You can follow their presentations on the Ircam YouTube channel:



Modelling perceived distance among pitch collections and geometrical representations of music captured the attention of a number scholars, from Carol Krumhansl initial attempt at studying the underlying psychological reality of Neo-Riemannian geometrical transformations to the most
recent study by one of the authors on Measuring and Modelling Perceived Distance among Collections in Post-Tonal Music. As part of a CNRS research project entitled ProAppMaMu and devoted to the learning process of ‘mathemusical’ knowledge, we have developed a web application for carrying out empirical experiences aimed at shedding light on the cognitive processes brought into play by individuals when grasping and apprehending the Tonnetz structure.

We conceived an experimental protocol which was tested with (at the stage of writing this abstract) 60 participants (30 professionals, 30 students / 30 musicians, 30 scientists), who heard 12 parsimonious chord sequences, in the double format of sounds and colored patterns displayed on a graphical interface. After listening to harmonic progressions, participants were asked to recognize the visual position of the last chord of each sequence among 6 proposed solutions. The task was presented twice, before and after a training on the fundamentals of the Tonnetz,via a short video tutorial. The mental strategies brought into play when elucidating the answer were inquired by means of a follow-on questionnaire. By grouping subjects according to their background, we analyzed the correctness of the answers and its relationship with the degree of parsimony of the sequences, the effect of auditory/visual feedback, and distances between chords and response times. Preliminary results show significant difference between musicians and scientists, especially in the second task and concerning the correctness of the answers, the modality recognition, the relative distance between chords and the response time. By presenting these first results we hope to open a discussion about the protocol that has been used and the possible implication of our approach in the field of music cognition and perception.




Erica Bisesi’s academic background is multidisci­plinary: PhD in mathematics and phys­ics, MSc in astrophysics, MA in piano interpretation and MMus in music theory and analysis (in progress). She is adjunct professor at the Faculty of Music of the Montreal University, member of GATM and SFAM, and postdoctoral researcher in astrobiology at the OATS – Trieste. She taught music cognition at the Universities of Graz and Bratislava, and acoustics and psychoacoustics at the Udine Conservatory, Italy. She directed or participated in several projects on computational musicol­ogy at the Center for Systematic Musicology in Graz and KTH in Stockholm, and has been col­laborating with universities and conser­vatories all over the world. Her research in musicology focuses on music cognition and neuroscience, music performance, interpretation, expression and emotion, music theory and analysis, MIR, and the relationship between music and maths. She performs regularly as a pianist, both as a soloist and in chamber music en­sembles. Contact:


After two post-doctoral periods at IRCAM and at the University of Strasbourg within the SMIR Project, José L. Besada currently works at the Complutense University of Madrid. His research primarily focuses on the formal and cognitive features of both contemporary musical practices and music theory. His book Metamodels in Compositional Practices: The Case of Alberto Posadas’s Liturgia Fractal was published with the support of the IRCAM. He currently serves in the executive board of the Société Française d’Analyse Musicale (SFAM) and is a founding member of the Sociedad de Análisis y Teoría Musical (SATMUS) in Spain. Contact:


Corentin Guichaoua is a CNRS post-doctoral researcher under the ERC ADG project COSMOS, within the Music Representation team at IRCAM (Paris), focusing on computational analysis of performance. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Rennes 1. Corentin carried out a first postdoc (2017-2019) with Moreno Andreatta within the SMIR Project at the University of Strasbourg, where he researched mathematical structures in music. His main research interests are the modulization, systematic retrieval and visualization of various forms of structure in and around music. Contact:


Moreno Andreatta is CNRS Director of research on mathematics and music at IRMA (Institut de Recherche Mathématique Avancée) in Strasbourg and associate researcher within the Music Representation Team at IRCAM. He is currently the principal investigator the SMIR Project devoted to Structural Music Information Research, and aiming at investigating the power of algebraic, topological and categorical formalization in the field of computational musicology. The cognitive and perceptual implications of ‘mathemusical’ knowledge are currently the object of a specific research axis carried on within the ProAppMaMu project supported by the MITI (the Mission for Transversal and Interdisciplinary Initiatives) of the CNRS. Contact:


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