Elaine Chew

Elaine Chew

Professor of Digital Media, Centre for Digital Music,
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
Queen Mary University of London

Decoding the Sensuality in Music

From uncontrollable guffaws to bittersweet heartache, music evokes sensations that result in pleasurable and memorable experiences. How do performers and composers manipulate musical parameters to pique the senses? What are the tricks of the trade, and can computers help us decode them? We will review a series of papers that take us from the computer visualizations of the humor devices of PDQ Bach through cathartic tipping points (musical thresholds) to modulating tension profiles that are used to constrain machines to generate music with narrative.



Elaine Chew is Professor of Digital Media at Queen Mary University of London's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, where she is affiliated with the Centre for Digital Music and serves as its Director of Music Initiatives and co-Lead of the Cognition, Creativity, and Expression research theme. Her scientific research centers on the design of mathematical and computational tools to model, analyze, visualize, and manipulate music structures.

Before joining QMUL in Fall 2011, she taught at the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, first as an Assistant Professor, then a tenured Associate Professor, from 2001 to 2011. At USC, she founded and directed research at the Music Computation and Cognition Laboratory, was the inaugural honoree of the Viterbi Early Career Chair, and held a joint appointment in the Thornton School of Music. She has also held visiting appointments at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Music Department (2008-2009) and at Lehigh University (2000-2001), and was Affiliated Artist of Music and Theater Arts at MIT (1998-2000).