Latour Prof. Dr. Martin Rohrmeier

Prof. Martin Rohrmeier is the director of the Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab (DCML) at the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL).

He studied philosophy, mathematics and musicology in Bonn, Germany and graduated with an MPhil with distinction in Musicology from Cambridge University, UK in 2005. His MPhil thesis used computational corpus analysis methods for the modelling of musical harmony.

He received a PhD in Musicology in 2011 under the supervision of Prof. Ian Cross exploring musical acquisition by conducting research on implicit learning of musical structure, also from Cambridge University.

He conducted postdoctoral research at Microsoft Research with Prof. Thore Graepel. Subsequently, Martin Rohrmeier joined Prof. Uli Reich and Prof. Stefan Koelsch as a postdoctoral researcher in the Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2011, before receiving a postdoctoral fellowship at the MIT Intelligence Initiative in 2013. In October 2014, he was appointed as one of the Open Topic Professors to the chair of Systematic Musicology and Music Cognition at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.

He organized various international and interdisciplinary conferences, symposiums and scientific meetings, workshops and larger lecture series on topics such as music cognition, ethnomusicology, corpus research, musical semantics, and schema theory. In particular, he co-organized the international interdisciplinary conference “Language and Music as Cognitive Systems” with Prof. John Hawkins, Dr. Ian Cross and Dr. Patrick Rebuschat (Cambridge, May 2007), as well as the symposium “Music Cognition: Learning and Processing” at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2009) together with Dr. Patrick Rebuschat

In 2017 Prof. Rohrmeier joined the EPFL as associate professor for Digital Musicology and acts as the director of the Doctoral School of Digital Humanities. He received renowned funding, amongst others from the Volkswagen Foundation, the European Research Council and the SNF.

His main research interest lies in empirical music research and, in particular, in bridging music theory, computation and cognition to better understand “how music works”. His research combines methods from music theory, digital musicology, corpus research, cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy and analysis of music, and aims at advancing the methodological spectrum of musicological research to a new level.

Apart from his academic involvements he is a passionate pianist performing notated, (not yet) notated, and unnotatable music. He also is a silent film lover, dancer, and Tai Chi practitioner.

Research topics

  • Digital and computational musicology
  • Music cognition
  • Music theory and analysis
  • Corpus research
  • Cognitive perspectives on music and language
  • Philosophy of music and aesthetics
  • Film music


Phone +41 21 69 32318, +41 21 69 31880
Postal address EPFL CDH DHI DCML
INN 136 (Bâtiment INN)
Station 14
CH-1015 Lausanne
Office INN 136