Prof. Richard Freedman

United States
Scientific Field
January, 2019 - January, 2020
LE STUDIUM / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship


Department of Music, Haverford College - US

In residence at

Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours - FR

Host scientist

Prof. Philippe Vendrix


CRIM: the Renaissance Imitation Mass

Citations:  The Renaissance Imitation Mass (CRIM) is devoted to the digital representation and shared analysis of sixteenth-century Imitation Masses (Missae ad imitationem), the only musical genre (a corpus of about 500 works) to define itself by the process of transforming pre-existing music in order to create new works. The latest project in a series of long-standing collaborations between Richard Freedman (Haverford College, USA) and members of the Programme Ricercar (CESR, Université of Tours), and an extended team of musicologists and information technology specialists in the USA, Canada and Europe, CRIM will build upon recent developments in the digital domain for music scholarship, implementing a new kind of durable quotable text for music using open-source tools developed for use with the Music Encoding Initiative XML data standard.

The team of scholars and advanced students led by Freedman and his research partners at the Programme Ricercar are using these technologies to build an innovative database of music-analytic observations prepared according to a controlled vocabulary of types that describes the complex contrapuntal relationships found in our corpus. These observations, moreover, will be  bound together with commentaries and annotations prepared by individual researchers, which in turn will be made widely discoverable via Linked Open Data and Open Annotation ontologies.

We will also break much new ground by exploring data analytic and machine learning approaches to music, both by exploring patterns within our observed data and by modeling various algorithmic approaches to discovering similar patterns by automated means. CRIM will enhance musicological research through its novel digital editions and analytical annotation tools; through its improved understanding of citation and transformation processes of pre-existing materials in music, and through its novel meeting of specialists from musicology and information science.

Events organised by this fellow

Publications in relation with the research project

Final reports

Richard Freedman
Philippe Vendrix
David Fiala
Micah Walter
Emilio Sanfilippo
Raffaele Viglianti
Daniel Russo-Batterham
Download PDF

Building upon recent developments in digital music scholarship, Citations: The Renaissance Imitation Mass investigates similarity and borrowing in music on a massive but detailed scale, using digital tools that only a few years ago were beyond our grasp. Our work focuses on the craft of musical counterpoint, and how musicians of the sixteenth century transformed pre-existing pieces to make intricate cyclic compositions from familiar sounds. The CRIM team, an accomplished group of scholars and data scientists active in Europe, North America, and Australia, will assemble a diverse collaborative network of music scholars and students at colleges, music schools and university graduate programs, extending the reach of digital scholarship to new users, and building new communities.