skip to primary navigationskip to content

Mark Gotham

Mark Gotham

Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Music

Affiliate Researcher, Centre for Music and Science

College Lecturer and Director of Music Making, Churchill College


Mark Gotham is a composer, conductor, and scholar based in Cambridge, UK. He graduated from the University of Oxford 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 now works at the University of Cambridge. He is an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music, and College Lecturer and Director of Music-Making at Churchill College. He also remains active as a conductor and composer. Recent highlights include conducting principals of the LSO and Philharmonia Orchestra in contemporary music projects, and a debut disc of compositions for choir(s) and keyboard(s) recorded for release in 2017 by Regent Records.

Key Publications

(All single authored except where otherwise stated)

Research articles in music theory and analysis:

In preparation: ‘Automatic Musical Composition with LSTM networks’. Collaborative project with the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge and Microsoft Research Ltd.

2018 (in press): ‘Attractor Tempos in Brahms 2/iii’, (accepted and in press with Music Theory Spectrum). URL to be confirmed.

2017 (in press): ‘Hierarchy and position usage in mixed metres’. Accepted and in press with the Journal of New Musicological Research, 46/2.

2016: ‘Pitch Properties of the Pedal Harp, with an Interactive Guide’, Music Theory Online, 22/4. Joint paper with Iain Gunn.

2015: ‘Metre Metrics’, Music Theory Online, 21/2.

2015: ‘Attractor Tempos for Metrical Structures’, Journal of Mathematics and Music, 9/1, 1–22.

Book reviews:

2016: Review of E. Roxburgh 2014: ‘Conducting for a new era’, Music and Letters, 97/1.

2013: ‘Music of the Circles’, a Review of G. Toussaint 2013, Music Theory Online, Issue 19.2.

Other Publications

Research articles in concert programming / contemporary music:

2014: ‘Coherence in concert programming’, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (IRASM), Vol. 45/2, pp.293–309.

2014: ‘First impressions: on the programming and concert presentation of new music today’, Tempo 68/267, pp.42–50.

Selected writing for a public audience:

2017 (in press): ‘Happy Birthday to a new tune’, Musical Opinion.

2012: ‘End of Transmission’ (a survey of John Cage’s Radio music), Muso Magazine.

2012: ‘A Very Short History of the New’, Classical Music Magazine.

Conference papers

2017: Microsoft Future Decoded. Joint paper with Matthew Johnson (MSRC) and Feynman Liang (UCB). 

2016: Making Time in Music, University of Oxford. “Towards a Quantification of Metrical Dissonance”

2015 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: Invited speaker at the ‘Distinguished Lecture Series in Digital Humanities’. “Musical Musicologies for the Digital Age”.

2014 IRCAM, Paris: Invited speaker at the Mathematics and Music (MaMux) seminar series. “Mathematical models for Metrical Theory”.

2014 RMA Music and Mathematics study day, University of Leeds. Contributor.

2014 BIBAC, Cambridge: “Mixed metres in theory and Practice”; conference co-organiser.

2014 Analytical Approaches to World Music, S.O.A.S., London: Chosen to represent the Society for Music Analysis (with Costas Tsougras and Shay Loya) for a three-paper session on Balkan music.

2012 Nancarrow International Conference, Southbank Centre: “A Quantification of Metrical Instability”

2010 ‘Music and Numbers’ Conference, Canterbury Christ Church University (joint paper with Pete McAllister): “Towards an Algorithmic Segmentation of Music”.

Faculty of Music on Twitter