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

Kris Shaffer kris.shaffer at gmail.com
Fri Dec 3 16:40:58 PST 2010

There's a turn-of-the-19th-century concerto for two horns in E-flat that is the subject of substantial dispute (or at least, it was 10 years ago, when I last looked into it). It's commonly attributed to Michael Haydn, but usually that attribution is qualified, and there is reason to believe that it may have been penned by Joseph Haydn. I've also heard claims that it was composed by Rosetti. All three, I would think, would present a substantial body of work against which to test, including other concert works for one or two horns and orchestra.

Kris Shaffer
Ph.D. candidate in music theory, Yale University
kristen.shaffer at yale.edu

On Dec 1, 2010, at 2:43 PM, Dmitri Tymoczko wrote:

> 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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