Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven

In this project, the goal is to investigate the relations between musical structures of the String Quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven using quantitative computer aided analysis.


According to Anja Volk et al., the investigation of musicological questions based on computational approaches generates new perspectives for old problems, as well as the formulation of new questions in the context of musicological research. Studies of this nature, for example, have already proven the melodic arc form in European folk songs, have revealed the presence of voice crosses in most of J. S. Bach’s chorales, and have resulted in automatic style classification algorithms. The work of J. Haydn, W. A. ​​Mozart and L. v. Beethoven — especially string quartets — is unquestionably important and an interesting corpus for exploratory studies. Questions such as “Do the string quartets written by Mozart in honor of Haydn have greater harmonic complexity than the others?” can be formulated and verified on the basis of quantitative methods. Therefore, the aim of this project is to investigate the relationships between musical structures such as phrase melodies and themes of these quartets. This research is being developed on the basis of computer-assisted quantitative methods from the Stanford University repository’s digital score collection. It is hoped that this study can broaden the knowledge about this repertoire, allow to formulate and test hypotheses about it, and can be used directly in the undergraduate teaching of the UFBA School of Music.

Finally, the musical aspects revealed by the statistical analysis can support research projects on data-based composition.

This project is supported by CNPq and FAPESB.


Completed Actions

  1. Modeling and implementation of data analysis web system (versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3)
  2. Analysis of pitch registers of Haydn’s Op. 17 quartets.

Actions in Progress

  1. Literature review of Computational Musicology
  2. Literature review of the Haydn quartets
  3. Modeling and implementation of data analysis web system (version 1.4)
  4. Elaboration of the Haydn quartets annotated corpus (PIBIC/UFBA)
  5. Analysis of Haydn’s quartets, Op. 33 (PPGMUS-UFBA / MUSE29)
  6. Analysis of Haydn’s quartets, Op. 50 (PIBIC/UFBA, MUSF18)
  1. Topics in Music Theory and Analysis (PPGMUS / UFBA)
  2. Advanced Music Analysis I (EMUS / UFBA)
  1. Bibliography
Marcos Sampaio
Marcos Sampaio
Professor of Music Theory and Composition

My research interests include Computational Musicology, Music Contour, Music Theory and Joseph Haydn.