ACTOR Partnership

The ACTOR partnership is the first project to analyze musical orchestration in all of its complexity by regrouping mathematicians, computer scientists, psychologists, composers and performers to analyze orchestral pieces in all their representations (signal, spectrum and scores). We aim to construct the first-ever theory of musical orchestration, through an online orchestration treatise


The ACTOR Partnership proposes to enhance attention to timbre and orchestration by bringing its musical use to the forefront of scholarship, practice, and public awareness with world-class artists, humanists, and scientists. This Partnership links North American and European orchestration practice and pedagogy, stimulates the development of new creativity-enhancing digital tools for learning, creating, and studying orchestration practice in concert, club, film, and video-game music, and sensitizes young audiences to the wonders and complexities of high-quality music.

ACTOR aims to transform music scholarship both through the application of novel analytical tools to uncover the untheorized mysteries in over four centuries of music and through the development of sound-based music analysis tools that can be applied to un-notated music or recordings of notated music.

ACTOR will transform research in the fields of musicology, music theory, music psychology, popular music studies and ethnomusicology where the role of timbre in music has been either ignored or only rarely addressed systematically.

ACTOR will enhance the education of composers, arrangers and orchestrators by providing technological tools for learning the associations between symbolic representations in scores and the sonic result.

ACTOR will create tools to enhance musical creativity related to timbre and orchestration in the many genres of music on stage and at home through computer-aided orchestration environments that integrate cutting-edge signal-processing and machine-learning techniques. To achieve these aims, ACTOR activities are structured into three axes of research dealing with Analysis, Technological Tool Development and Innovative Outputs in several domains.

More information

More information is available on the dedicated website

Course Syllabus


Second Month