MARK GOTHAM is a composer, scholar, etc., and the founder-director of ‘Four Score and More’.
List of (and links to) research publications on
- Debut CD: ‘Utrumne est Ornatum’
- Scores of MG compositions on IMSLP
- Some live recordings of performances on Soundcloud
Mark Gotham specialises in computational methods for music theory, analysis, and composition. He holds the rare distinction of having been appointed to faculty positions in both STEM (Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Durham University, from 2023) and in the humanities (previously Professor of Music Theory at T. U. Dortmund).
Mark graduated from the University of Oxford (Christ Church) with the Gibbs prize for the highest-ranking first class degree awarded in music; from the Royal Northern College of Music with an MMus in composition (supported by a full Arts and Humanities Research Council scholarship); and from the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D. in music theory (Newton Trust scholarship). His thesis was described by the examiners as ‘excellent’ (Alan Marsden) and ‘formidable’ (Robert Pascall).
Mark took up several professional appointments at the University of Cambridge during his PhD, and he remained in Cambridge afterwards to continue and expand that range. These appointments included:
- Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music,
- College Lecturer and Director of Music-Making at Churchill College where he founded the Inter Alios Choir, and
- Director of Music and Director of Studies in Music at Murray Edwards College where he founded the Humanist Happenings series.
- Running the University’s choral awards scheme (which populates Cambridge’s celebrated collegiate choirs) where he introduced various efficiency measures and also graduate students into the scheme for the first time.
Then he …
- … left Cambridge to take up a unique post as ‘Postdoctoral Associate in Computational Music Theory Pedagogy’ at Cornell University and fellow of the ‘Active Learning Initiative’,
- … returned to Europe in 2020 to take up a second postdoc (‘Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter’) on the DFG-funded ‘Computergestützte Analyse harmonischer Strukturen’ project (Kleinertz and Müller, principal investigators) at the Universität des Saarlandes,
- … was appointed Professor (W2) of Music Theory at Technische Universität Dortmund.
- … and then to his position in computer science at Durham (links to follow).
His early career encompassed a wide range of musical activities including performance, composition and arrangement, teaching, and research (including a first post as McCann Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music prior to starting his PhD). Performance engagements have included playing several instruments, singing (both as a freelance baritone and as a Lay Clerk in the Chelmsford and Ely Cathedral Choirs), and conducting. As a conductor he worked primarily with student groups through his university roles. Professional highlights included conducting conducting principals of the LSO and Philharmonia Orchestra in contemporary music projects.
The debut commercial recording of his compositions – ‘Utrumne est Ornatum’ – was released by Regent Records in 2018, featuring a range of (mostly choral) works and performers including the celebrity guest narrator, Tom Hollander. The disc has been highly favourably reviewed by the Choir and Organ and Organists’ Review magazines, with both awarding the maximum 5 stars. Other composition highlights have included broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and national Chinese television, performances at St Martin in the Fields and the Aldeburgh Festival, and commissions from the King’s Lynn and Thaxted Festivals. Future plans include a growing collaboration with the poet John Kinsella, and a new piece for the 50th anniversary of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.
Mark’s composition is directly linked to his music theoretic research: his research explores compositional concerns systematically (what is possible, and what have composers chosen to do with those possibilities), and his compositions are often motivated by a specific structural idea originating from music theory. This research has encompassed a wide range of topics including theoretical work on pitch, metre, and timbral structures; analysis of modal, tonal and post-tonal repertoires; and an increasing focus on mathematical and computational approaches to these questions. He has published extensively in music theory, analysis, and computational musicology journals.
In addition to teaching, research and composition, Mark is passionate about making a positive contribution to social issues through music and has recently focussed on using computational resources in this connection to democratise access to music theory. This led to the formation in 2018 ‘Four Score and More’.