Assistant Professor Kate Helsen revolutionizes the study of medieval music

Borrowing from the world of bio-computing – and using algorithms originally designed to analyze strings of genetic code – Don Wright Faculty of Music musicology professor Kate Helsen is revolutionizing the study of medieval music.

Until now, the problem has been how to divine common patterns from among the genre’s vast tapestry of millions of chants, but programming language enlisted by Helsen can multiply that work exponentially, in a fraction of the time, analyzing specific segments and features among a database of about 6,000 chants.

Like a modest version of a Rosetta Stone, this big-data analysis introduces medievalists and music scholars to a whole new way of thinking about the language of chants.

Read full article (Western News, October 17, 2019)

Photo credit: Huron University College // Special to Western News

Related Links

Don Wright Faculty of Music – Research News

Don Wright Faculty of Music - Music Research and Composition Department

Don Wright Faculty of Music – Musicology faculty listing