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 the public lecture Lekker (algo)ritme at Culturele Zondag Utrecht Centraal on June 5, 2017.

Recent Highlights

                    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.

The second round of our international
WiMIR mentoring program has started! 50 mentees from high school student to associate professor residing in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia are participating. Check the latest news.

I g
ve an invited talk about the WiMIR mentoring program at ACM Multimedia, in Theater Tuschinsky, Amsterdam, October 17, 2016.

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.

Peter Boot  received the runner up award of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences for his master thesis “Using Discovered and Annotated Patterns as Compression Method for determining Similarity between Folk Songs”. Download the corresponding journal article here.

In August I attended ISMIR 2016 in New York with two papers of the MUSIVA-group (Meter Detection in Symbolic Music Using Inner Metric Analysis, Integration and Quality Assessment of Heterogeneous Chord Sequences using Data Fusion).
As a member of the WiMIR-mentoring program committee I organized the WiMIR session
Check out https://twitter.com/hashtag/wimir  and https://twitter.com/ismir2016 for impressions from the presentation of the mentoring program.

Marcelo Rodríguez López successfully defended his PhD Thesis Automatic Melody Segmentation on June 20, 2016.

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

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