Mark Granroth-Wilding

PhD Research

I completed my PhD in 2013 at the University of Edinburgh with Mark Steedman. The examiners for my defence were David Temperley and Alan Smaill.

The research concerned the use of linguistic grammars to perform harmonic analysis of jazz.

The core thesis was as follows:

  • Music has a syntax like that of natural language
  • Parsing can reveal structures important to musical understanding
  • Parsing techniques adapted from NLP can be useful for music processing tasks

I looked specifically at the structures of tonal harmony, though others are important to musical understanding. I performed harmonic analysis automatically using techniques adapted from natural language parsing.

More on my PhD research at my project website

Download the thesis