[Smt-talk] Identifying a composer's hand using statistics

Dave Headlam dheadlam at esm.rochester.edu
Fri Dec 3 04:49:15 PST 2010

Charles:  Many thanks for that post-scriptum to a great Canadian, born in
Regina, Saskatchewan, and of course, the original "Captain Kirk" in
Forbidden Planet, with it's all-electronic music score, and immortal ending

Alta, about a million years
from now the human race...
will have crawled up
to where the Krell stood...
in their great moment
of triumph and tragedy.
And your father's name
will shine again...
like a beacon in the galaxy.
It's true, it will remind us...
that we are, after all, not God.

Dave Headlam

P.s.  Now if we could find the true attribution of "Don't call me Shirley"
we would really be on to something, surely!

On 12/2/10 12:44 AM, "Charles J. Smith" <cjsmith at buffalo.edu> wrote:

> Interesting question, Dmitri, with a lot of possible answers.
> Surely one of the most notorious is the well-known organ Toccata &
> Fugue in D minor, often claimed to be by J. S. Bach, an authorship
> that is surely questionable on many grounds‹and has been questioned.
> What does seem clear is that it was originally a piece for solo
> violin, but "by whom" is the question‹not to mention who did the
> transcription.
> Charles Smith
> PS And I can't resist imagining the now late and always great Leslie
> Nielson reading this post, and responding, of course, "don't call me
> Shirley!"
>> Hi Everyone,
>> I have a student -- a physics grad. student, actually, with a strong
>> music background -- who was interested in using statistical analysis
>> to do authorial identification, somewhat in the way people have done
>> with literary texts.
>> Question: can anyone think of an interesting piece -- say from the
>> Renaissance onward -- where (1) authorship is uncertain and (2) the
>> composer *might* be someone very well known (so that there is a
>> substantial body of work to compare it to)?
>> For instance, I know there is some disagreement about Magnus Es Tu,
>> Domine, which is often attributed to Josquin.
>> In any case, I'd like this to be more than an academic exercise, so
>> it would be great to choose some piece where there's substantial
>> doubt.
>> Thanks!
>> DT
>> Dmitri Tymoczko
>> Associate Professor of Music
>> 310 Woolworth Center
>> Princeton, NJ 08544-1007
>> (609) 258-4255 (ph), (609) 258-6793 (fax)
>> http://music.princeton.edu/~dmitri
>> _______________________________________________
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>> org
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Charles J. Smith
> Slee Chair of Music Theory & Chair of the Department
> Department of Music, 220 Baird Hall
> University at Buffalo
> Buffalo, NY 14260
> U.S.A.
> 716-645-0639 [direct line]
> 716-645-3824 [fax]
> cjsmith at buffalo.edu
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> rg


Dave Headlam
Professor of Music Theory
Joint Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Eastman School of Music / The College
The University of Rochester
26 Gibbs St.
Rochester, NY 14604
dheadlam at esm.rochester.edu

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