Postdoctoral Fellowship positions: Analysis, creation and teaching of orchestration (ACTOR) 


Two two-year positions for postdoctoral fellows (PDF) are available at the Schulich School of Music ( of McGill University. The PDFs will work within an international, interdisciplinary partnership directed by Stephen McAdams, and including McGill faculty members in composition (Denys Bouliane, John Rea, Philippe Leroux), music theory (Robert Hasegawa), sound recording (Martha de Francisco), music technology (Philippe Depalle, Ichiro Fujinaga), and conducting (Guillaume Bourgogne). The ACTOR Partnership proposes to bring the often-neglected topics of timbre and orchestration to the forefront of musical scholarship and practice, through a collaboration including world-class artists, scholars, and scientists. This Partnership links major North American and European universities, conservatories, research centres, orchestras, and companies to develop a solid theoretical basis for orchestration practice and pedagogy, to stimulate the development of new creativity-enhancing digital tools for teaching and learning orchestration, and to apply tools of corpus analysis and machine learning to better understand orchestration practice in over four centuries of music. The partnership is organized into three primary research axes: 1) Analysis Axis – score, text, audio, perception and performance analysis of orchestration practice and interpretation, 2) Tool Development Axis – development of computer-aided orchestration and orchestral simulation environments, an orchestration research database, and an online interactive orchestration resource, 3) Output Innovation Axis – applying the analysis-based research and tools to innovation in orchestration pedagogy, music scholarship and composition.

PDF 1: One post-doctoral researcher will work in the Analysis Axis, carrying out original analyses of historical and contemporary orchestration techniques and linking score, text, audio, perception and performance analyses through the Orchestration Analysis and Research Database (ORCHARD) and the Online Orchestration Resource. The PDF will be involved in project coordination, score and text analysis, perceptual experimentation, and co-supervision of graduate and undergraduate students. The ideal candidate must be musically literate and have completed doctoral studies in any combination of music theory, musicology, music psychology, and computer music. Familiarity with databases and computational approaches are a strong asset.

PDF 2: Another post-doctoral researcher will work on the Output Innovation Axis,. PDF 2 will be involved in project coordination and the application of humanistic and scientific research on orchestration in the fields of music theory and musicology, orchestration pedagogy, and compositional practice. They will participate in the development of methods for evaluating the impact of this research in those domains and will co-supervise graduate and undergraduate students. The ideal candidate will have a doctoral degree in music theory, musicology, or composition, with a strong background in orchestration and an interest in pedagogical innovation. A deep knowledge of common-practice and contemporary orchestral repertoire is a significant plus.

There will be ample opportunity for collaboration of both PDFs with team members at McGill and with the other institutional partners (see

Applicants must have received their PhD within 3 years of the application date. They should submit a cover letter, CV, and 3 representative papers, and arrange for 3 letters of reference to be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Start date (negotiable) is Fall 2018. For further details on the ACTOR Partnership to decide if this PDF is a good fit for you, please contact Stephen McAdams.

The Schulich School of Music is an internationally recognized university-based music faculty with humanistic, scientific and engineering research, composition and music performance. It houses the multi-university Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT). McGill University is a world-class institution in the culturally and scientifically vibrant city of Montreal.

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