School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Seminar: Comparative musicology: The science of the world’s music

18 June 2019

Time: 4:00 - 5:00pm
Speaker: Dr Patrick E. Savage
Venue: Bancroft Road Teaching Rooms, BR 4.01. Building no. 10 in campus map: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/qmul/docs/about/Mile-End_map-April2019.pdf

Abstract:
What is music, and why did it evolve? How can we understand the unity and diversity found throughout the world’s music? Scientific attempts to answer these questions through cross-cultural comparison stalled during the 20th century and have only recently begun to make a resurgence. In this talk, I 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, I 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.

Bio:
Patrick Savage joined the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio University, Japan in 2018 as an Associate Professor. 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 Nature, Science, PNAS, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Economist. The title of this talk is also the title of his first book, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.


For whom?
Open to students, staff, alumni, public; all welcome. Admission is FREE, no pre-booking required.