The Corpus as an Artifact of Musical Change: Studies in Style, Transmission, and Diffusion

DH Research Seminar 2019/2020

Musical corpora have been used to examine the changing aspects of compositional style (e.g. Albrecht and Huron, 2013; Broze and Shanahan, 2013), as well as mutable aspects of the “situated cognition” of an audience (Byros, 2009). Recent work (Shanahan and Albrecht, 2019) has employed a combination of corpus and behavioral research to explore the nature of physical and cognitive constraints on transmission, and I will follow up on this work here, discussing a theory of musical change through both corpus and behavioral approaches. Additionally, I will discuss how we might employ symbolic corpora to inform future theories of musical change, even when such corpora are lacking in data or are of unknown origin.