Patrick Savage

Patrick Savage

Project Associate Professor
Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Graduate School of Media and Governance
DegreesPhD in Musicology (Ethnomusicology), Tokyo University of the Arts
Short BiographyFull CV:

2017 PhD Musicology (ethnomusicology), Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan
2014 MA Musicology (ethnomusicology), Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan
2011 MSc Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Canada
2007 BA summa cum laude Music (composition), Amherst College, USA

2018- Project Associate Professor (tenure-track), Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus, Japan
2017-18 Postdoctoral Researcher in Statistical Data Analysis, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, UK

2019-25 Fostering Joint International Research (B) Grant (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
2019-20 Collaborative Research Grant (Yamaha Corporation)
2019 1st place (Foreigner division) (National Nanbu Cow-Driving Song Championship)
2017 Ikushi Prize (Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science)
2017 Hirayama Ikuo Arts and Culture Prize (Tokyo University of the Arts)
2011-17 MEXT Scholar (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, Japan)
2013 1st equal (Intermediate div.) (National Championship, Nat. Folk Song Association of Japan)
2010-11 Roland Wood Fellowship (Amherst College)
2007-08 Amherst-Doshisha Fellowship (Amherst College & Doshisha University)
2007 Composer-in-Residence (Samuel Marsden Collegiate High School)
2007 3rd place, International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (Amherst College Zumbyes)

Billboard – “Musicologists come to Katy Perry’s defense in ‘Dark Horse’ case: Verdict Is ‘inhibiting the work of songwriters.’” Billboard. January 13, 2020.
The Economist - "What came first: all-seeing gods or large societies?", March 21, 2019
New York Times - "Can you tell a lullaby from a love song?", January 25, 2018
FNMNL - "音楽はなぜ僕らを動かすのか", August 30, 2016
NPR - "From Pygmy hunting songs to Taylor Swift, what makes music universal", July 9, 2015.
NBC News - "Folk music could track human migrations". November 14, 2013.
Areas of ExpertiseMusic, Psychology, Anthropology, Computer Science, Cultural Evolution, Digital Humanities
Selected Publications(for full list including 23 peer-reviewed publications, see

Savage, P. E. (Under contract). Comparative musicology: The science of the world’s music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Savage, P. E., Loui, P., Tarr, B., Schachner, A., Glowacki, L., Mithen, S., & Fitch, W. T. (2020). Music as a coevolved system for social bonding [target article]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1–42.

Yuan, Y., Oishi, S., Cronin, C., Müllensiefen, D., Atkinson, Q. D., Fujii, S., & Savage, P. E. (In press). Perceptual vs. automated judgments of music copyright infringement. In Proceedings of the 21st International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2020).

Jacoby, N.*, Margulis, E.*, Clayton, M., Hannon, E., Honing, H., Iversen, J., Klein, T. R., London, J., Mehr, S., Pearson, L., Peretz, I., Perlman, M., Polak, R., Ravignani, A., Savage, P. E., Steingo, G., Stevens, C., Trainor, L., Trehub, S., Veal, M., Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2020). Cross-cultural work in music cognition: Methodologies, pitfalls, and practices. Music Perception, 37(3), 185–195.

Whitehouse, H.*, Francois, P.*, Savage, P. E.*, Currie, T. E., Feeney, K. C., Cioni, E., Purcell, R., Ross, R. M., Larson, J., Baines, J., ter Haar, B., Covey, A., Turchin, P. (2019). Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world history. Nature, 568, 226–229.

Savage, P. E. (2019). Cultural evolution of music. Palgrave Communications, 5(6), 1–12.

Savage, P. E. (2018). Alan Lomax’s Cantometrics Project: A comprehensive review. Music & Science, 1, 1–19.

Savage, P. E., Cronin, C., Mullensiefen, D., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). Quantitative evaluation of music copyright infringement. In Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA2018), 61-66.

Turchin, P., Currie, T. E., Whitehouse, H., François, P., Feeney, K., Mullins, D., Hoyer, D., Collins, C., Grohmann, S., Savage, P. E., Mendel-Gleason, G., Turner, E., Dupeyron, A., Cioni, E., Reddish, J., Levine, J., Jordan, G., Brandl, E., Williams, A., Cesaretti, R., Krueger, M., Cecceralli, A., Figliulo-Rosswurm, J., Peregrine, P., Marciniak, A., Preiser-Kapeller, J., Kradin, N., Korotayev, A., Palmisano, A., Baker, D., Bidmead, J., Bol, P., Christian, D., Cook, C., Covey, A., Feinman, G., Júlíusson, Á. D., Kristinsson, A., Miksic, J., Mostern, R., Petrie, C., Rudiak-Gould, P., ter Haar, B., Wallace, V., Mair, V., Xie, L., Baines, J., Bridges, E., Manning, J., Lockhart, B., Tuan, P.-J., Bogaard, A., & Spencer, C. (2018). Quantitative historical analysis uncovers a single dimension of complexity that structures global variation in human social organization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115(2), E144–E151.

Savage, P.E., Tierney, A.T., & Patel, A.D. (2017). Global music recordings support the motor constraint hypothesis for human and avian song contour. Music Perception, 34(3), 327-334.

Savage, P.E., Brown, S., Sakai, E., & Currie, T.E. (2015). Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(29), 8987-8992.

Savage, P.E., Matsumae, H., Oota, H., Stoneking, M., Currie, T.E., Tajima, A., Gillan, M., & Brown, S. (2015). How ‘circumpolar’ is Ainu music? Musical and genetic perspectives on the history of the Japanese archipelago. Ethnomusicology Forum 24(3), 443-467.

Brown, S., Savage, P.E., Ko, A. M.-S., Stoneking, M., Ko, Y.-C., Loo, J.-H., & Trejaut, J.A. (2014). Correlations in the population structure of music, genes, and language. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1774), 20132072.

Savage, P. E. & Brown, S. (2014). Mapping music: Cluster analysis of song-type frequencies within and between cultures. Ethnomusicology, 58(1), 133-155.

Savage, P. E. & Brown, S. (2013). Toward a new comparative musicology. Analytical Approaches to World Music, 2(2), 148-197.
Message to StudentsWhen I was a student I planned to major in science, but I spent most of my time playing/singing/composing all kinds of music (a cappella, classical, jazz, funk, folk). Eventually I realised I could use science to help understand how and why humans all over the world make such beautiful and diverse music. If you want to use science to gain a deeper understanding of music, you've come to the right place!
Project Web Page
Contact Information5322 Endo Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0882 Japan
Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus o310 (ex: 53330)
psavage [ at ]
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