Network Coordinator,


Editor and Webmaster for

Cynthia M. Grund


Please note that this is the way the website for 



Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics


appeared as of June 30, 2014, the concluding date for the period during which the network was funded by NordForsk 2010-2014. Founded in 2007, NNIMIPA was initially funded by NordPlus. This website was started in February 2010 while NNIMIPA was still a NordPlus network, and it contains extensive documentation of the activities within NNIMIPA from its inception in 2007 until the final date for the NordForsk grant in June 2014.

     The contacts that were established among researchers in the Nordic area and beyond through NNIMIPA have resulted in myriad cooperative research efforts. A significant number of these activities continue to be documented on the website which you  are most welcome to visit.


(For Google Calendar, please see HERE.)



News Archive







Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics

Pdf version available  here.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meeting and greeting at the Wellington. Strand, London. NNIMIPA members arrive 17:30; RMA-MPSG delegates arrive around 18:30. Dinner.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Day One of the Second Annual Conference of the RMA-MPSG. NNIMIPA delegate David Hebert (Bergen University College) presents On the Ethical Dimensions of Patriotic Music during the 11:30-13:15 session Ethical Issues in the Anatomy Museum. Please see the RMA-MPSG conference program for details.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day Two of the Second Annual Conference of the RMA-MPSG. NNIMIPA delegates Cynthia Grund (University of Southern Denmark) and William Westney (Texas Tech University) chair the 10:00-11:30 session Perception & Cognition in the Anatomy Museum. Please see the RMA-MPSG conference program for details.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

NNIMIPA Network Meeting 10:00-17:00.

Room K0.19, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

All are welcome!




Welcoming Remarks


Cynthia M. Grund

Associate Professor; Institute of Philosophy, Education and the Study of Religions, University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

Chief Coordinator for NNIMIPA and NNIMIPA-coordinator for SDU; NordForsk Project Manager



The Search for Musical Perfection when Preparing a Piece for Recording –

Beyond the Musical Score


Morten Heide
Pianist and Choral Director, NNIMIPA-delegate at large representing The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Southern Denmark (AMDA), Odense, Denmark

After several years of performing Messiaen's music, I decided to record his vast piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus/ Twenty Gazes upon the Infant Jesus. 2010 was the year of preparation for this recording which I completed in the early summer of 2011. During the process of preparation, recording and finally the editing of many hours of recorded material, I found myself obliged to make many choices and to engage in much serious contemplation.


My goal with this short presentation is to shed some light on the process I (we) as (a) musician(s) go through when recording a piece of music - from the very first note played (when we perhaps hadn't even thought of recording the piece later on) until the final result. It's not so much the final result that is important in this lecture, but the process, since it's a process of trying to approach perfection. And my idea of the "perfect" Messiaen recording surely differs from that of other musicians or musicologists.

As with most other composers there's not just one "true" way of playing Messiaen's music, but several ways. What then makes a recording "perfect" and might not this aim for perfection when recording Messiaen's music differ from when recording say music of Bach or Mozart? What is perfection in the context of recording ?To what degree is one as a musician obliged to stay true to the musical score and to what extent is one allowed certain freedoms? Does performance practice (tradition) apply to contemporary music like that of Messiaen? When editing, what makes one "take" better than another if both contain all the right notes?

Those were but some of the many questions and considerations that consciously and unconsciously went through my mind during these three steps (preparing, recording and editing) of completing the recording. A lot of this is very difficult to put into words since, as always with music, it's to a great extent a matter of feelings, sense and emotions, of culture and traditions/schools, etc. In other words please don't expect this presentation to provide any final answers regarding the search for perfection in recording, but rather to work towards providing an articulation of some of the relevant questions which should be asked.




Just for the Record? The Album Cover as Part of the Listener’s Music Experience


Søren R. Frimodt-Møller, PhD

NNIMIPA-delegate representing the Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University Esbjerg and Institute of Philosophy, Education and the Study of Religions, University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

This presentation sketches the outline of a research project about album covers (including the artwork accompanying digital downloads) and their role in the presentation and experience of recorded music. How does the album cover artist relate to the music he is trying to represent visually? What do musicians want from an album cover? How is the listener’s experience of the music on the album influenced by the cover? The project seeks to show that the visual media associated with specific recordings occupy a place in the listener’s total experience of the recording similar to the role of gesture and other visual aspects of a musician’s appearance in a live music performance.


Much research has tended to focus on music perception in isolation, more specifically, how the human mind structures particular strains of sound as “music”. In contrast, this project is concerned with the whole experience in which the perception of music is a central element. The question of how a visual element, such as an album cover, plays a part in the experience of music, should therefore be considered a stepping stone to a discussion of the many other elements that make up a music experience: Who we are within the situation, the ambience provided by our surroundings, and related topics.




Music Leaks: Reflections of Music in Nationhood and Diplomacy


David G. Hebert

Professor, Grieg Academy, Faculty of Education

Bergen University College

NNIMIPA Coordinator, GA-BUC


In a recent New York Times article (June 24, 2012), former US President Jimmy Carter expressed his grave concerns regarding “unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications.” Remarkably, such violations of civil liberties and human rights, despite prior conceptualizations of the rule of law, currently enjoy bipartisan support that even extends to aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers in secret courts (as seen in the cases of James Risen, and mounting actions against Julian Assange, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Jacob Applebaum). Such developments have understandably provoked artistic forms of passive resistance on a similarly unprecedented scale, particularly in the sphere of music and new media, examples of which include the Juice Media’s Rap News video “Wikileaks: the truth is out there” (viewed on Youtube by over 1 million since 2010). Given the complexities of the status quo, it seems important for conscientious music scholars to systematically examine such developments, and uncover the extent and manner to which music may currently be used within the clandestine realms of military action and international diplomacy as a vehicle promoting either cooperation and peace or oppression and unnecessary heightening of conflict. Unprecedented levels of transparency have recently been enabled via the release of thousands of government documents of a kind to which scholars have never previously enjoyed open access. This paper will explore the ethical foundations for research on the musical contents of publicly-available leaked documents, with particular attention to such themes as democracy, human rights, radical transparency, and intellectual freedom. It will also demonstrate a precise rationale and methods by which many new musical discoveries may consequently be made regarding the significance of music’s hitherto little-known use in the fields of warfare and international relations.



Rhythmical Building Blocks - from J.S. Bach to James Brown: Purpose and Process

Anne Helle Jespersen

Research librarian in music, head of music section; Library of the University of Southern Denmark. MA in Ethnomusicology and Cultural Communication. Author. NNIMPA delegate representing the University of Southern Denmark

In 2011, I published Rhythmical Building Blocks – from J.S. Bach to James Brown together with co-author Marc Kibrick Bernstein, saxophonist, composer, educator and head of the rhythmic department at the The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Southern Denmark (AMDA) in Esbjerg. The book is written on the basis of Marcs’ teaching project as a visiting artist at a primary school in Western Jutland. This case study has been transformed into teaching materials, where Anne has distilled the core principles and tools used in Marcs’ teaching and related them to the goals for music teaching in primary schools, as these have recently been described by the Danish Ministry of Education.


This presentation is a brief introduction to these teaching materials i.e. what is a rhythmic building block? How can one work with these? The book will be presented and the main purpose of the book will be discussed. I will also reflect upon the writing process, the collaboration of the two authors and my role in this project as an academic, as well as communicator of Marcs’ work as an educator and professional artist.


Rytmiske Byggesten– fra J.S.Bach til James Brown. By Marc Kibrick Bernstein and Anne Helle Jespersen. Book incl. cd (80 pages, 22 tracks) ISBN: 978-87-7612-681-0



Lunch Break




Modeling of Music Interaction through UML Annotations

Kristoffer Jensen
Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University Esbjerg
NNIMIPA Coordinator, Aalborg University Esbjerg


Interaction among musicians is an important are of study with implications for pedagogy, new instrument makings, computer interactions, autonomous agents, etc. Unified Modeling Language (UML) has proven useful for investigations of musicians’ interaction. Several experiments are presented, including one focusing on how the music itself is used for communication when improvising, several that focus on the changes and improvements when rehearsing, and one dealing with composing on the computer. Details on these experiments are presented alongside the main elements of the UML and the methodology involved.




What’s so Mysterious about the Ineffable?


William Westney

Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Piano, Browning Artist-in-Resid​ence; School of Music, Texas Tech University. Hans Christian Andersen Guest Professorial Fellow at SDU 2009-2010. NNIMIPA delegate representing the University of Southern Denmark.


Cynthia M. Grund

Associate Professor, Institute of Philosophy, Education, and the Study of Religions; University of Southern Denmark. Chief Coordinator for NNIMIPA and NNIMIPA-coordinator for SDU; NordForsk Project Manager



One might be forgiven for remarking that the philosophical discussion of the ineffable has often been framed in an odd way, placing its trust in language and considering the ineffable to be rather exotic and troublesome. What if we were to view ineffability from the other end of the telescope?


For the first year or so of life, humans exist in a familiar, flowing, secure, and often blissful world of - ineffability. This is just normal for us. Verbal language is the miracle, granting us the ability to engage in the enterprise of creating a shared world of - astonishingly - precise referents and abstract concepts. Ineffability can be seen not so much as some mysterious quality waiting to be defined, but rather as a relational concept that simply acknowledges that which makes one medium distinct from another. The ineffable, then, becomes the residue that does not transfer when something or other is “realized” in a medium other than the one in which its source manifestation takes place.


Østrem demystifies music (and all art) nicely, by calling it “that particular human activity which objectifies experience in some form or other, in order to “point to” the experience and relate it to a wider range of experiences - ultimately the range called ‘life’ (Østrem 2002:309).”


Is it possible to have a fruitful “non-verbal discussion” about music? Yes, if we make use of our ability to offload musical forms onto the body. Jankélévitch writes compellingly of “doing” as a way to overcome language’s limitations: “Music, like the divine nightingales, answers with the deed, by Doing (Jankélévitch 2003:84).” In passages such as this one, what is often meant by “doing” is playing an instrument or singing, actually feeling the violin strings under one’s fingers and so on. Interactive activities and games that elicit spontaneous gestural involvement of the whole body (not the specific playing actions of hands and fingers) in response to music, however, offer non-verbal mechanisms for exploring musical meanings on one’s own and for negotiating them with another person. Analog in nature, freed from language and situated within the world of experience, these activities nonetheless can exhibit an eloquence that very well might enable retrieval and recreation of at least certain aspects of what otherwise is dismissed as - or relegated to - “the ineffable.” In this vein, relating experience to thought itself, Vaihinger views “sensation as the starting point of all logical activity” and the purpose of thought as what many might call the purpose of art: “the attainment of a richer and fuller sensational life of experience (Vaihinger 1935:6).”


Moving ever more deeply into the non-verbal - indeed, leaving even metaphorical use of the “discussion” paradigm behind - advances in the tools afforded us by the developments in information technology now provide analytical and modeling frameworks that have graphic representation and remediation at their core. This particular manner of approaching the discussion of ineffability marks it as a candidate for a relevant theme among the cross-disciplinary investigations being conducted by NNIMIPA: Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics.


This paper thus combines insights from the world of practical musical performance and pedagogy with the work of philosophers - not in small measure mediated by information technology - to explore the ways in non-verbal exploration of musical meaning may contribute to at least some demystification of “the ineffable.”


Jankélévitch, Vladimir (2003) Music and the Ineffable. Trans. by Carolyn Abbate. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. (Éditions du Seuil. Paris, 1983; 1st ed. La Musique et l’Ineffable, (Éditions Armand Colin, 1961).


Vaihinger, Hans (1935) The Philosophy of 'As if .' Trans. by C.K. Ogden. 2nd ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. (Die Philosophie des Als Ob. Berlin, 1911).


Østrem, Eyolf (2002) "Music and the Ineffable” in Voicing the Ineffable: Mystical Representations of Religious Experience. Eleven Essays edited by Siglind Bruhn. Interplay Series No. 3. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press. Pp. 287-312.





NNIMIPA coordination meeting followed by dinner.



     Nordic Network for the

     Integration of

     Music Informatics,

     Performance and Aesthetics




for a four-day multi-event in London

July 19-July 22 on the occasion of the second annual conference of the RMA-MPSG which will be held at King’s College London on 20-21 July 2012.

joins with