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Welcome to the Jazzomat Research Project hosted at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar (University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar). The main aim of the project is to investigate the creative processes underlying jazz solo improvisations with the help of statistical and computational methods. The overarching goal is to explore the cognitive and cultural foundations of jazz solo improvisation. To this end, the Weimar Jazz Database, a comprehensive and representative database of jazz solo transcription is being built up, and an open-source Python Library, the MeloSpyLib is developed for analysis purposes. The project has a strong interdisciplinary approach situated at the intersection of jazz research, cognitive psychology of musical creativity, and computational and statistical musicology, exploring research issues and methods of all these disciplines. Furthermore, the project has intersections with and implications for music information retrieval (MIR).

Our main research goals are:

  • to describe and discriminate different jazz improvisation styles by various features, e.g., with regard to the relations of pitch to metre, tonality and the underlying chords;
  • to compare features of jazz improvisation with features in other styles and areas of music;
  • to explore the cognitive foundations of improvisation while testing theories about the cognition of creative processes, e.g., by determining recurring melodic and rhythmic patterns and their underlying melodic-rhythmic prototypes;
  • the dependence of improvisational material on external parameters like instrument, tempo, key and their interrelationship;
  • to evaluate and enhance pedagogical approaches towards jazz improvisation;
  • to test and enhance statistical methods of music analysis, e.g., measures of complexity and coherence.


Principal Investigator:

Prof. Dr. Martin Pfleiderer


Dr. Klaus Frieler

Dr.-Ing. Jakob Abeßer

Research Assistants:

Wolf-Georg Zaddach, MA

Benjamin Burkhart, MA

Friederike Bartel, BA

Student Assistants:

Transcription: Martin Breternitz, Peter Heppner, Yvette Kneisel, Benedikt Koch, Simon Meininger, Benjamin Napravnik, Albrecht Probst, Franziska Risch, Lydia Schulz, Amelie Zimmermann, Alaa Zouiten

Logo design: Sabrina Kim


Oct 2012 - March 2017: DFG (German Research Foundation), “Melodisch-rhythmische Gestaltung von Jazzimprovisationen. Rechnerbasierte Musikanalyse einstimmiger Jazzsoli” (DFG-PF 669/7-1).


The Jazzomat Research Project
Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT Weimar
University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar
Jenaer Str. 2
99425 Weimar
Mail: martin.pfleiderer (at) hfm-weimar.de


For support inquiries please write to klaus.frieler (at) hfm-weimar.de.

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