Latour Prof. Dr. Martin Rohrmeier

Prof. Martin Rohrmeier is the director of the Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab (DCML) at the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL).

He studied philosophy, mathematics and musicology in Bonn, Germany. Subsequently he continued his Masters studies at the Centre for Music and Science  and graduated with an MPhil with distinction in Musicology from Cambridge University, UK in 2005. The MPhil project used computational corpus analysis methods for the modelling of tonal harmony in Bach’s chorales. He received his PhD in Musicology in 2011 under the supervision of Prof. Ian Cross exploring musical acquisition by conducting research on implicit learning of musical structure, also from Cambridge University.

At Microsoft Research he conducted a postdoctoral research project in computational modeling of music with Prof. Thore Graepel. Subsequently, he joined Prof. Uli Reich and Prof. Stefan Koelsch as a postdoctoral researcher in the Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2011, before receiving a postdoctoral fellowship at the MIT Intelligence Initiative in 2013. In October 2014, he was appointed as one of the distinguished Open Topic Professors to the chair of Systematic Musicology and Music Cognition at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.

Throughout the past years, he organized various international and interdisciplinary conferences, symposiums, workshops and lecture series on topics of music cognition, corpus research, corpus research, cross-cultural research, musical semantics, and schema theory. In particular, he co-organized the international interdisciplinary conference “Language and Music as Cognitive Systems” with Prof. John Hawkins, Dr. Ian Cross and Dr. Patrick Rebuschat (Cambridge, May 2007), as well as the symposium “Music Cognition: Learning and Processing” at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2009) together with Dr. Patrick Rebuschat.

In 2017 Prof. Rohrmeier joined the EPFL as associate professor for Digital Musicology and acts as the director of the Doctoral School of Digital Humanities. He received renowned funding, amongst others from the Volkswagen Foundation, the European Research Council and the SNF.

The overarching research question is simply put as “How does music work?”. In this frame, the main research interests of the lab lie in bridging music theory, computation and cognition. The research combines methods from music theory, digital musicology, corpus research, cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy and analysis of music, and aims at advancing the methodological spectrum of musicological research to a new level.

Apart from his academic involvements he is a passionate pianist performing notated, (not yet) notated, and (sometimes almost) unnotatable music. He is a silent film lover and a passionate silent pianist, chess player, Argentinian Tango dancer, and Tai Chi practitioner.

Research topics

  • Digital and computational musicology
  • Music cognition
  • Music theory and analysis
  • Corpus research
  • Cognitive perspectives on music and language
  • Philosophy of music and music aesthetics
  • Film music


Phone +41 21 69 32318, +41 21 69 31880
E-mail [email protected]
Postal address EPFL CDH DHI DCML
INN 136 (Bâtiment INN)
Station 14
CH-1015 Lausanne
Office INN 136