Dr Steven Jan
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Steven Jan studied music at the University of Leeds and went on to complete a PhD there, entitled 'Aspects of Mozart 's Music in G Minor: Toward the Identification of Common Structural and Compositional Characteristics, under the supervision of Professor Julian Rushton. The dissertation was published by Garland in 1995 in their Outstanding Dissertations in Music from British Universities series. Before joining the Music Department at Huddersfield in January 2001 he taught at the University of East Anglia and in the School of Academic Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is currently Senior Lecturer and Music Subject Area Leader.
Research & Scholarship
Steven Jan works on the application to music of theoretical and analytical perspectives drawn from evolutionary theory, particularly the 'meme ' paradigm first expounded in Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene (Oxford, 1976). His monograph The Memetics of Music: A Neo-Darwinian View of Musical Structure and Culture (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007) is the first full-scale formal exposition of the theory of musical memetics. A related research interest is the use of computer resources in evolutionary musicology, music theory and music analysis and he is currently planning an extended research project in this area with Dr Marcelo Gimenes and Dr Jonathan Wakefield. His other research interests include the music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Jan, S (2015) ‘From holism to compositionality: memes and the evolution of segmentation, syntax, and signification in music and language’ Language and Cognition . ISSN 1866-9808
Jan, S (2015) ‘Memetic Perspectives on the Evolution of Tonal Systems’ Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 40 (2). ISSN 0308-0188
Jan, S (2015) ‘A Memetic Analysis of a Phrase by Beethoven: Calvinian Perspectives on Similarity and Lexicon-Abstraction’ Psychology of Music . ISSN 1741-3087
Jan, S (2014) ‘Evolutionary Thought in Music Theory and Analysis: A Corrective to Babelization?’. In: Lanalyse musicale aujourdhui/Music Analysis Today. : Éditions Delatour. pp. 55-75.
Jan, S (2014) ‘Book review: William Kinderman, The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtág (Urbana, Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2012) 978-0-252-03716-0 ’ Music Analysis , 33 (1), pp. 99-112. ISSN 0262-5245
Jan, S (2014) ‘Similarity Continua and Criteria in Memetic Theory and Analysis’ Journal of Music Research Online , 5. ISSN 1836-8336
Jan, S (2013) ‘Using Galant Schemata as Evidence for Universal Darwinism’ Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 38 (2), pp. 149-168. ISSN 0308-0188
Jan, S (2013) ‘Mnemosynes Hexagons: Music, Memory and M(us)emes’. In: Darwin, chef dorchestre? Colloque interdisciplinaire sur lévolution de la musique, 28th March 2013, Lyon, France
Jan, S (2012) ‘The Heavens are Telling: Memetic- Calvinian Readings of a Haydn Chord Progression’ Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 37 (2), pp. 113-130. ISSN 0308-0188
Jan, S (2011) ‘A Memetic Analysis of a Phrase by Beethoven: Calvinian Perspectives on Segmentation, Similarity and Lexicon-Abstraction’. In: 7th European Music Analysis Conference, 29th September - 2nd October 2011, Rome, Italy
Jan, S (2011) ‘Replication, Parataxis, and Evolution: Meme Journeys through the First Movement of a Mozart Sonata’. In: A-Life for Music: Music and Computer Models of Living Systems. : A-R Editions. pp. 217-260. ISBN 9780895796738
Jan, S (2011) ‘Music, Memory, and Memes in the Light of Calvinian Neuroscience’ Music Theory Online , 17 (2), pp. 3-50. ISSN 1067-3040
Jan, S (2010) ‘Memesatz contra Ursatz: Memetic perspectives on the aetiology and evolution of musical structure’ Musicae Scientiae: the journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music , 14 (1), pp. 3-50. ISSN 1029-8649
Jan, S (2009) ‘Evolutionary Thought in Music Theory and Analysis: A Corrective to Babelization?’. In: L'analyse Musicale aujord'hui: crise ou (R)evolution?/Music Analysis Today: Crisis or (R)evolution? International Conference 2009, 19th - 21st November 2009, Strasbourg, France
Jan, S (2007) The Memetics of Music: A Neo-Darwinian View of Musical Structure and Culture . Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-5594-7
Jan, S (2007) ‘Memetic Perspectives on the Evolution of Tonal Systems’. In: Evolutionary Musicology Conference, 22nd - 23rd June 2007, Durham, UK
Jan, S (2006) ‘Selfish Memes in the Priests Marches from Idomeneo and Die Zauberflöte’. In: "such people come into the world only once in a 100 years" - Mozart in the 21st Century, 3rd February 2006, Dublin, Ireland
Jan, S (2005) ‘Whats in a Meme? Aspects of Particulateness, Coindexation, Segmentation, and Perceptual-Cognitive Salience in Replicated Musical Units’. In: Dublin International Conference on Music Analysis, 23rd - 25th June 2005, Dublin, Ireland
Jan, S (2005) ‘The Illusory Mozart: Selfish Memes in the Priests Marches from Idomeneo and Die Zauberflöte’ Goldberg Forum .
Jan, S (2004) ‘Meme Hunting with the Humdrum Toolkit: Principles, Problems, and Prospects’ Computer Music Journal , 28 (4), pp. 68-84. ISSN 0148-9267
Jan, S (2003) ‘Meme hunting with the Humdrum Toolkit: principles, problems, and prospects ’. In: Hull University Music Analysis Conference (HUMAC) 2003, 10th - 13th July 2003, University of Hull, UK
Jan, S (2003) ‘Meme Hunting with the Humdrum Toolkit: Principles, Problems, and Prospects’. In: Hull University Music Analysis Conference (HUMAC), 10th - 13th July 2003, Hull, UK
Jan, S (2003) ‘The Evolution of a 'Memeplex' in Late Mozart: Replicated Structures in Pamina's 'Ach ich fuhl's'’ Journal of the Royal Musical Association , 128 (1), pp. 30-70. ISSN 02690403
Jan, S (2002) ‘The Evolution of a Memeplex in Late Mozart: Replicated Structures in Paminas Ach ich fühls’. In: 17th Congress of the International Musicological Society, 1st - 7th August 2002, Leuven, Belgium
Jan, S (2001) ‘The Illusory Mozart: Selfish Memes in the Priests Marches from Idomeneo and Die Zauberflöte’ International Journal of Musicology , 10. ISSN 0941-9535
Jan, S (2000) ‘The Memetics of Music and its implications for Psychology’. In: 6th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition(ICMPC) , 5th - 10th August 2000, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Jan, S (2000) ‘Replicating Sonorities: Towards a Memetics of Music’ Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission , 4 (1). ISSN 1366-4786
Jan, S (1999) ‘The selfish meme: Particularity, replication, and evolution in musical style’ International Journal of Musicology , 8, pp. 9-76. ISSN 0941-9535
Jan, S (1996) ‘Ave Verum Corpus: reminiscences in Mozart's late style’ Choir and Organ , 4 (2), pp. 20-25. ISSN 0968-7262
Jan, S (1995) Aspects of Mozart's music in G minor: toward the identification of common structural and compositional characteristics . Outstanding Dissertations in Music from British Universities. : Garland. ISBN 0185318928
Jan, S (1992) ‘X Marks the Spot: Schenkerian Perspectives on the Minor-Key Classical Development Section ’ Music Analysis , 11 (1), pp. 37-53. ISSN 0262-5245
Research Degree Supervision
Steven Jan is happy to supervise research students (MA by Research, MPhil, PhD) on topics in the following areas of investigation:
- Music and memetics
- Music and evolutionary thought
- Music theory and analysis
- Computer-aided musicology, music theory and music analysis.
- Musicological research on Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
- Andrew Hawkett: An Empirical Investigation into the Concept of Musical Memes in Western Classical Music using Data-Mining Techniques on MusicXML Documents.
- Ahmed al-Badr: The Musical Characteristics of the Folk Songs of Southern Iraq.
Current PhD students include:
Stevens recent supervisions include an MMus dissertation on the application of analytical methodologies to Haydn string quartet development sections.