Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC)

Understanding musical culture in the Arab world and neighboring regions through computational and humanistic methods.

The Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC) research laboratory is a collective of researchers focusing on the multidisciplinary study of music from the Arab World and neighboring regions through computational and humanistic methods. These researchers represent a broad spectrum of expertise, including ethnomusicology, machine learning, music composition, performance and improvisation, library science, computational modeling, and the digital humanities. Having as a primary goal the study and dissemination of music from this region, the group currently hosts several projects that range from the preservation of collections of field or rare commercial recordings, to developing innovative ways of conducting musical heritage analysis, preservation, and dissemination.

The group's collaborative engagement with fields including ethnography and field recording, cataloging, computational analysis and re-synthesis — intersecting approaches from traditional and digital humanities with engineering and computer science — gives  a unique multidisciplinary lens for understanding, analyzing, and disseminating the musical heritage from this region. The different projects undertaken by the group ultimately aim at creating new ways of meaningfully interacting with music heritage, allowing scholars to browse large collections of music through their audible or structural characteristics, through the computational recreation of the musical styles using innovative software applications and through the intersection of musical heritage archival materials, including photos and recordings that could be lost to time if not preserved in perpetuity.


Music and Sound Cultures main goal is to deepen the knowledge about the music from the Western Indian Ocean region. We are developing a multidisciplinary methodology that combines computational approaches incorporating recent developments in artificial intelligence with ethnomusicological and music-theoretical approaches involving intensive collaboration with cultural practitioners. This unique methodology is intended to contribute scholarship and creative work in a range of formats (including scholarly papers, audiovisual documents, artistic endeavors, and computer applications) that reveal the relationships between musics of non-Eurogenetic tradition, and what these relationships can teach us about how musical practices and ideas flow from one culture to another. 


Robert Rowe

Professor of Music Technology, NYU Stienhardt

Yi Fang

Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NYUAD

Affliated Researchers

Name Title
Ghazi Al-Mulaifi Visiting Assistant Professor
Juan Bello Professor of Music Technology and Computer Science and Engineer, Director of Center of Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and Music and Audio Research
Brian McFee Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Data Science
Beth Russell Associate Director for Research Services and Strategy, Associate Academic Librarian for the Humanities


Name Title  
Juan Sierra Global PhD Student Fellow PhD Student
Safeya Alblooshi Kawader Research Fellow Research Assistant
Amna H. Alnowais Filmmaker Visiting Scholars
Dimitris Andrikopoulos Professor of Composition, Polytechnic of Porto Visiting Scholars
Waleed Al Madani Filmmaker Collaborator
Akshay Aantapadmanabhan Mridangam Artist Collaborator
Brad Bauer Head of Archives and Special Collections Collaborator
Andrija Klaric Sound and Interaction Designer Collaborator
Leonid Kuzmenko Composer and Sound Designer Collaborator
Vince Nguyen CITIES Post-Graduate Fellow Collaborator
Sertan Sentürk Data Science and machine Learning Engineering Expert Collaborator

Student Researchers

Name Title
Maryam Al Shehhi Literature and Creative Writing and Political Science Student
Prajjwal Bhattarai PPTP Student
Guari Kedia PPTP Student
Aaron Marcus-Willers PPTP Student
Enid Mollel PPTP Student
Nghia Nim Computer Science and Mathematics Student

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