Dr. Anja Volk

Assistant Professor, MSc, MA, PhD
, Head of MUSIVA

visiting address:
Utrecht University
Department of Information and Computing Sciences
Buys Ballot Laboratory, office 484
Princetonplein 5, De Uithof
3584 CC Utrecht

Tel.:+31 (30) 253 5965
Email: "a . v o l k "(at)"  uu .  nl   (please remove spaces)
Profile and postal address at the Faculty of Science
Profile at AcademiaNet: Leading Women Scientists

  Anja Volk

About me

My research lies at the intersection of Computer Science, Mathematics, Cognition and Music. I strive to connect fundamental research in Computer science with the human processing of music information. This comprises a broad spectrum of research questions from theoretical to technology-related issues, engaging areas such as Computational Music Analysis, Music Information Retrieval, Computational Musicology, Mathematical Music Theory, Digital Humanities and Music Cognition.


I will give a public lecture in the Stadsgehoorzaal at the city of Leiden during an open day on Music and Cognition, organized by the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, on November 30, 2018. Other speakers are Sonja Kotz, Rebecca Schaefer, Henkjan Honing and Psyche Loui.

Recent Highlights

WiMIR mentoring program 2018 started with nearly 80 mentee-mentor pairs! I am co-organizing with Emilia Gomez, Ryan Groves and Blair Kaneshiro.

Our paper "In search of the consensus among musical pattern discovery algorithms" by I. Ren, H.V. Koops, A. Volk and W. Swierstra has been presented at ISMIR 2017, Suzhou, China.

Our paper "MIRchiving: Challenges and opportunities of connecting MIR research and digital music archives" by R. de Valk, A. Volk, A. Holzapfel, A. Pikrakis,  N. Kroher, and J. Six has been accepted at DLfM 2017, Shanghai, China.

I gave the public lecture Ritme en algoritme: patronen herkennen in muziek during NWO's Night of Science Music inside Out, on October 6, 2017. Video summary.

Hendrik Vincent Koops presented at Systematic Approaches to Deep Learning Methods for Audio, Sept 11-17, 2017,  Erwin Schroedinger Institute, Vienna.

Documenting a song culture: The Dutch Song Database as a resource for musicological research (P. van Kranenburg, M. de Bruin, A. Volk) published open access at Int J Digit Libr.

WiMIR Mentoring Program Report 2017: the many faces of diversity is online. Check out results of the international mentoring program with 50 mentees and 50 mentors!

Daphne Odekerken presented our paper Rhythmic Patterns in Ragtime and Jazz by D. Odekerken, A. Volk and H.V. Koops at the 7th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis 2017, in Malaga, Spain.

I gave the public lecture Lekker (algo)ritme at Culturele Zondag Utrecht Centraal on June 5, 2017. Podcast. Blog Studium Generale.

Vincent Koops presented our paper Chord Label Personalization through Deep Learning of Integrated Harmonic Interval-based Representations by  H.V. Koops, W.B. de Haas, J. Bransen and A. Volk at the International Workshop on Deep Learning for Music, Anchorage, 18 May, 2017.

We launched the Transactions of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval, the open access journal of the ISMIR society at Ubiquity press. I am serving as Editor-in-Chief, together with Simon Dixon and Emilia Gomez.


Transactions of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval

TISMIR publishes novel scientific research in the field of music information retrieval (MIR).

We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines:
computer science, musicology, cognitive science,
library & information science and electrical engineering.

We currently accept submissions for the first issue.
View our submission guidelines for more information.

                    Computational Ethnomusicology

Computational Ethnomusicology: Methodologies for a New Field

Workshop at the Lorentz Center, International Center for Workshops in the Sciences
March 27-31, 2017, Leiden, the Netherlands

Scientific Organizers:
Andre Holzapfel, Peter van Kranenburg, Julia Kursell, Anja Volk

Aim: Connecting ethnomusicological research questions and computational methods

I gave a talk at the CompMusic Seminar accompanying the PhD thesis defenses of Gopala Krishna Koduri and Sertan Şentürk, on Feb 23, 2017 at Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona. Video.

I am co-organizing the second round of our international
WiMIR mentoring program with 50+ mentees from high school student to associate professor residing in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Check out our list of academic and industrial mentors in music, cognition and technology related fields from around the globe! Read testimonials from mentees about their experiences with the program by Magdalena Fuentes, Stefanie Acevedo and Iris Yuping Ren.

Special Issue Music similarity: Concepts, cognition and computation,
Journal of New Music Research, Volume 45(3), appeared in September 2016. Guest Editors: Anja Volk, Elaine Chew, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, Christina Anagnostopoulou. Follow up to Lorentz workshop on Music similarity.

I gave the opening keynote speech "Computational pattern search in folk music: challenges and opportunities" at the 6th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis in Dublin, Ireland on June 15, 2016. Watch the video recording here, photo impression here.


5th Biennal International Conference on Mathematics and Computation in Music (MCM2015)

Queen Mary University of London, June 22-25, 2015.

General Chairs: Oscar Bandtlow and Elaine Chew
Program Chairs:
David Meredith and Anja Volk
Publication Chair: Tom Collins
Workshop Chair: Johanna Devaney

Proceedings: Lecture Notes in Artifical Intelligence 9110


Music similarity: concepts, cognition and computation

Workshop at the Lorentz Center, International Center for Workshops in the Sciences
19-23, 2015, Leiden, the Netherlands
Scientifc Organizers:
Christina Anagnostopoulou, Elaine Chew, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, Anja Volk
Group photo

Journal of Mathematics and Music, Special Issue


Mathematical and Computational Approaches to Music: Three Methodological Reflections

Journal of Mathematics and Music, Vol. 6(2).
Guest Editors: Anja Volk and Aline Honingh

*NEWS: Introduction to the Special Issue more than 3000 times accessed*

In the media

On June 2, 2015 I received the Spotlight award from the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, for my activities in disseminating my work to the general public

I gave the public lecture Ritme en algoritme: patronen herkennen in muziek during NWO's Night of Science Music inside Out, on October 6, 2017. Video summary.

Concertzender live at Utrecht Centraal: Live interview at radio station Concertzender on 5 June 2017 about my public lecture "Lekker (algo)ritme" during the Culturele Zondag Utrecht Centraal.
Professoren op het podium
(Professors on stage): A theater evening over Music and Mathematics, organized and moderated by Jan van den Berg. Guests: Anja Volk, Jan Neerven and Frank Redig. Theater de Veste, Delft. 1 April 2015, 20:30.

KennisCafe Amsterdam: Rocking Science, with Anja Volk, Tom ter Bogt, Fleur Bouwer, Louis Grijp, organized by De Volkskrant, KNAW, science center NEMO, de Balie Amsterdam, 15 December 2014, 20:00-22:00. Watch at De Balie TV, listen at Kennis van Nu, Radio 5.

Radio Interview at Science 071 Sleutelstad, 17 December 2014, listen here, photo here.  Update: This interview has been submitted to the NTR Radio Award 2015

Interview "De Volkskrant", 10 December 2014, pdf

Presentation at Bessensap 2014 (Science meets press): "Hoe herken je muziek?", 6 June 2014, photo impression

Portrayal in De Groene Amsterdammer, 31st October 2013, download print version here

Computational musicology in De Groene Amsterdammer, October 2013

e-data & research nr. 4 March 2011

Board member

International Society for Music Information Retrieval (2013-2015)

Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music

Computational Science Advisory Board of the Lorentz Center, International Center for Workshops in the Sciences, Leiden


2002: PhD in Computational Musicology at Humboldt University Berlin.

1998 Master in Mathematics at Humboldt University Berlin.

1996 Master in Musicology at Humboldt University Berlin.


since 2011: Assistant Professor at Utrecht University

2006-2010: PostDoc in the WITCHCRAFT project at the Utrecht University and the Meertens Institute Amsterdam.

2003- 2005: Postdoctoral Fellow in the at the Integrated Media Systems Center, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California.

1998-2003: PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Research Group for Mathematical Music Theory at the Technical University Berlin.

Research Interests

  • Music Information Retrieval
  • Computational Musicology
  • Computational Music Analysis
  • Music Cognition
  • Mathematical Music Theory
  • Performance Theory
  • Digital Humanities

Journal Publications

Conference Proceedings

Books and edited volumes

Invited lectures