New music research project uses big data to create an electronic monk
A new Canadian research project is collecting big data from medieval melodies chanted by monks more than 1,000 years ago. And it’s all searchable. But to what end?
Kate Helsen, an assistant musicology professor at Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, is part of the Optical Neume Recognition Project and explains that this study is the most technologically advanced method of investigating what was previously a completely oral culture – a time and place, when and where people didn’t conceive of writing music down at all – and through greater understanding of these 11th century monks, researchers can now study how the human brain constructs, comprehends and reconstructs everything from language and literature to math and music.