Home—Rochester, NY. Office—Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY 14604. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, educator. Columbia University, New York, NY, department of music, instructor, teaching assistant, 1989-96, adjunct assistant professor, 1996-97, 1999-2000; New York University, New York, NY, College of Education, adjunct assistant professor, spring, 1997; Ohio State University, Columbus, postdoctoral fellow, 1997-98, lecturer, 1998-99; Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, assistant professor of music theory, 2000-05, associate professor of music theory, 2005—; frequent speaker at various academic conferences.
Played piano as an accompanist for dance and theater, New York, NY, full-time, 1986-89, part-time, 1989-97; freelance musical director, New York, NY, and elsewhere, 1987-92; composer of music; creator of two downloadable computer programs, the Melisma Music Analyzer and the Link Grammar Parser.
The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
Music and Probability, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.
Contributor to various journals, including Journal of Music Theory, Music Perception, Cognitive Science, Computing in Musicology, Popular Music, Computer Music Journal, and Musicae Scientiae. Composer of musical pieces, including Twelve Rhythmic Studies for Piano, Three Ballades for Piano, Sonata Number Three for Violin and Piano, and Elephant, for piano and narrator.
David Temperley was educated at Swarthmore College, where he earned his undergraduate degree in history with distinction, then went on to earn first a master's degree in composition and then a doctorate in music theory from Columbia University. A writer and educator, he began his teaching career at Columbia, where he served first as a teaching assistant and later as an adjunct assistant professor in the department of music. He has also taught at New York University and at Ohio State University, both prior to joining the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, first as an assistant professor and then associate professor of music. His primary areas of research and academic interest are both music perception and cognition, which includes the ways in which people listen to and understand music and how it is represented in their memories, with a focus on determining if more can be learned about this process using computer simulations. In this connection, he is also interested in the relationship between music and linguistics, as well as music theory and cognition. He is the creator of the Melisma Music Analyzer, a program for music analysis that he makes available on the Internet, and the Link Grammar Parser, which is based on the original English syntax model, and is also available online. Temperley has written for a number of journals, including Journal of Music Theory, Music Perception, Cognitive Science, Computing in Musicology, Popular Music, Computer Music Journal, and Musicae Scientiae, as well as a variety of musical compositions. He is also the author of several books, including The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures and Music and Probability.
The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures takes a preference rule approach to understanding various aspects of music, including meter, phrase, counterpoint, harmony, and key. By using the preference rule for these components, one can then translate them into a computer model which can be compared to the more instinctual approach of a human being. Temperley explains the different rules and their uses, using examples that apply to various types of music. Arnie Cox, in a review for Notes, found Temperley's annotations a bit distracting and also found his broad approach, intended to appeal to a diverse readership, to be a bit limiting, but he concluded that "Temperley's preference rule approach is important for what it explains and for what it promises to explain with further testing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, May, 2002, J. Rubin, review of The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures, p. 1596.
Computer Music Journal, summer, 2003, Ian Whalley, review of The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures.
Music Perception, spring, 2003, Roger B. Dannenberg, review of The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures; December, 2005, Robert Rowe, review of The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures, p. 189.
Notes, September, 2002, Arnie Cox, review of The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures., p. 97.
Eastman School of Music, Department of Music Theory Web site,http://theory.esm.rochester.edu/ (February 4, 2008), faculty profile.
MIT Press Web site,http://mitpress.mit.edu/ (February 4, 2008), book blurb.