Eleanor Selfridge-Field teaches in the music, computer science, and symbolic systems programs with a principal emphasis on digital musicology. She is also a music historian and an occasional commentator on music copyright. She holds degrees in music and history (BA, Drew U.), journalism (M.Sc. Columbia U.), and music (D.Phil.,Oxford U.). Since 1984, when she joined Walter B. Hewlett in setting up the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities (Menlo Park), she has spearheaded the Center’s content development and publication programs. Together they edited fifteen yearbooks covering research-in-progress in digital music studies and, with additional staff, created a corpus of more than 1200 fully encoded scores of classical music. Since 1996 the Center has been located on the Stanford campus, and since 2011 it has been affiliated with the Packard Humanities Institute.

Dr. Selfridge-Field is a co-founder of Humanities West (San Francisco), a former co-chair of the International Musicological Society’s Digital Musicology study group (1987-2012), a board member of the Music Encoding Initiative (2014-2020), the US correspondent for the International Vivaldi Institute (1978--), and an associate editor of Frontiers in Digital Humanities (2014--). She is a consultant to many academic foundations in the North America, Europe, and Australia. She previously taught at the U. of Pittsburgh, Mills College, and Cal State University San Francisco. As a journalist she has worked for the New York Times, the Associated Press, and KQED.

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Music

Administrative Appointments

  • Senior Research Associate and Managing Director, Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities (1984 - 2012)

Honors & Awards

  • Residency, Scuola Branca, Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venice, IT) (2016)
  • Residency, Scuola Branca, Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venice, IT) (2012)
  • Travel award, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation (2009)
  • Distinguished Bibliography Award, Modern Language Association (2008)
  • Residency, Casa Zia Lina (Elba), Stiftung Thyll-Duerr (2002)
  • Travel award, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation (1994)
  • Elected member, PHI Beta Kappa (1990)
  • Travel award, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation (1983)
  • Travel grant, American Council of Learned Societies (1978)
  • Travel award, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation (1977)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Distinguished Professor (Visiting), School of Music, McGill University, Montreal (2019 - Present)
  • College of Expert Reviewers, European Science Foundation (2017 - Present)
  • Founding board member, Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) (2014 - 2019)
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Digital Humanities (2014 - 2018)
  • Review Board, Digital Humanities, Volkswagen Stiftung (2014 - 2017)
  • Advisory Board, RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (2009 - 2013)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies (2007 - 2017)
  • US RISM Committee, RISM (US branch) (2005 - 2008)
  • Founding co-chair, Study Group on Digital Musicology, International Musicological Society (1987 - 2012)
  • Co-editor (with Walter B. Hewlett), Computing in Musicology (1985 - 2006)
  • Co-founder (1984); Advisory board member, Humanities West (1984 - Present)
  • Editorial board member, Studi vivaldiani (1978 - Present)
  • U.S. representative, International Antonio Vivaldi Society (1978 - Present)

Program Affiliations

  • Symbolic Systems Program

Professional Education

  • D.Phil., Oxford University, Music (1969)
  • M.Sc., Columbia University, Journalism (1963)
  • B.A., Drew University, Music, history (1962)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Our primary focus at the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities (CCARH) is the development of open-source repositories of full encoded scores of classical music. These can be printed, searched, analyzed, and repurposed in many ways. Current research focuses on data design, query methods, and data transformations to graphics and sound. The Center attracts visiting researchers from all over the world.

My personal research in cultural history currently considers the impact of cultural norms on scientific theories, which underlies my 2008 book Song and Season. I also study the impact of aggregators (born in the seventeenth-century) on single-source news (analogous to debates on Google News). In connection with a forthcoming biography of Antonio Vivaldi, I study German and Italian cross-influences on the rise of musical virtuosity. My study of scenography in eighteenth-century opera, with special consideration of Bernardo Canal (Caneletto's father), is also forthcoming.

My interest in musical data as intellectual property issues from the inherent conflict between rapidly advancing technical capabilities and sclerotic advances in the legal apparatus that governs their uses in society. Musical data, as distinct from sounding music, is poorly understood in legal contexts.


  • Themefinder

    A tool for identifying musical incipits (the musical equivalent of a first-line index).


    CCARH, Braun Music Center #129, 541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


    • Weston Mizumoto, undergraduate, CS, Stanford University
  • MuseData, CCARH, Stanford University

    Repository of fully encoded musical scores, mainly of European art music from the period 1690-1890


    CCARH, Braun Music Center #129, 541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


    • Andreas Kronstaedt, Visiting scholar, CCARH, Stanford University
  • KernScores, CCARH, Stanford

    A repository of encoded musical scores from several centuries, suitable for analysis and visualization of several kinds.


    CCARH, Braun Music Center #129, 541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


    • David Huron, Professor, Music, Ohio State University
  • Digital Resources for Musicology (2015 - Present)

    A growing collections of searchable brief descriptions of projects in a dozen areas of digital musicology and allied areas of digital humanities


    541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305-3076


    • Craig Stuart Sapp, Adjunct Professor, Stanford University

2020-21 Courses

All Publications

  • The Teatro Sant'Angelo: Cradle of Fledgling Opera Troupes MUSICOLOGICA BRUNENSIA Selfridge-Field, E. 2018; 53: 157–70
  • Substantial Musical Similarity in Sound and Notation: Perspectives from Digital Musicology Colorado Technology Law Journal Selfridge-Field, E. 2018; 16 (2): 249-283
  • Venetian Instrumental Music in the Sixteenth-Century A Companion to Music in Sixteenth-Century Venice, ed. Katelijne Schiltz Selfridge-Field, E. Brill. 2018; E-book; Hardback: 415–439
  • Cognition, Early Polyphony, and Interdisciplinary Musicology Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies Selfridge-Field, E. 2016; 8 (1-2): 5-10
  • Schulenburg, Corfù, and the dating of Juditha triumphans Fulgeat sul frontis decorae: Studi in onore di Michael Talbot Selfridge-Field, E. Fondazione Giorgio Cini onlus. 2016: 207–220
  • La famiglia materna di Antonio Vivaldi Studi vivaldiani Selfridge-Field, E., Gianola, M. 2016; 15 (1-2): 13-53
  • The Maeftro di Mufica, or Quality Control in the Virtual Library FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE Selfridge-Field, E. 2015; 62 (2): 63-77
  • Search engines for digitally encoded scores EARLY MUSIC Selfridge-Field, E. 2014; 42 (4): 591-?

    View details for DOI 10.1093/em/cau099

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345366400010

  • Marcello’s Orientalism Psalmen: Kirchenmusik zwischen Tradition, Dramatik, und Experiment Selfridge-Field, E. Böhlau. 2014: 205–222
  • In Memoriam Leland Smith Computer Music Journal Selfridge-Field, E. 2014; 38 (2): 5-7
  • Associative aspects of perceived musical similarity and the intersections with seconda-prattica affetti A fresco: Mélanges offerts au professeur Etienne Darbellay Selfridge-Field, E. Peter Lang. 2014: 433–454
  • Between an Analogue Past and a Digital Future: The Evolving Digital Present Gesellschaft für Musikforschung Selfridge-Field, E., et al 2013: 28
  • "Antonio Lucio Vivaldi" New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement, pp 808-810 edited by Fastiggi, R. L., et al Gale Research. 2011
  • Browsing Beethoven's Harmonic Usage Die Tonkunst: Magazin für Klassische Musik und Musikwissenschaft 5/3 (Juli 2011), 301-304. Sapp, C., Selfridge-Field, E. 2011; 5 (3): 301-304
  • Dating Venetian Operas: Implications and Quandaries for Vivaldi Studies Antonio Vivaldi: Pasato e futuro Selfridge-Field, E. Fondazione Giorgio Cini. 2009
  • Social dimensions of melodic identity, cognition, and association 9th ESCOM Conference Selfridge-Field, E. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2007: 77–97
  • The invention of the fortepiano as intellectual history EARLY MUSIC Selfridge-Field, E. 2005; 33 (1): 81-?

    View details for DOI 10.1093/em/cah042

    View details for Web of Science ID 000227779100007

  • Data models for virtual distribution of musical scores 1st International Conference on WEB Delivering of Music (WEDELMUSIC 2001) Selfridge-Field, E., HEWLETT, W. B., Sapp, C. S. IEEE COMPUTER SOC. 2001: 62–70
  • Italian opera, English letters, and French journalism: The Mercure-de-France's debts to Joseph Addison REVUE DE MUSICOLOGIE Selfridge-Field, E. 1997; 83 (2): 185-203
  • Computer musicology: Accomplishments and challenges COMPUTER MUSIC JOURNAL SELFRIDGEFIELD, E. 1996; 20 (4): 29-32