Atte Tenkanen
Master of Music
Ph.D. in Musicology

School of History, Cultural and Art Studies
Department of Musicology
University of Turku
FI-20014 Turku
Phone:     +358 40 3417125
Mobile:     +358 50 9104844


I completed my Ph.D. in musicology at the University of  Turku, Finland. In my doctoral research, I aimed at creating, developing and evaluating algorithms and tools that extract musical information from compositions and MIDI-recorded improvisations. I  focused particularly on the analytical method, named as Comparison Structure Analysis

Today, I work as an organist and church musician in Turku and make interdisciplinary research at the same time, see

Here, I play organ and sing Gregorian Chant:

An example of a "detector graph":
Occurrences of Blues mode 2 (21211212) are marked with blue colour.
The piece in question is Richard Rodgers/ Lorenz Haet: With a Song in My Heart.

A demo about finding the playing figures in Improvisation nr 207 by Olli Linjama.


  • Karttunen, M., Tenkanen, A.: Three-Dimensional Score: Seeing Music, Hearing Sculpture. In E. Torrence, B. Torrence, C. H. Séquin, D. McKenna, K. Fenyvesi, & R. Sarhangi (Eds.), Proceedings of Bridges 2016 : Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture. Bridges Finland (pp. 525-8). Phoenix: Tessellations Publishing. Retrieved from Open access (2016)
  • Tenkanen, Atte: Näkökulmia liturgiseen improvisaatioon. Musiikillinen improvisaatio – Keskustelunavauksia soivan hetken kulttuureihin. Toim. Erkki Huovinen. Utukirjat 9, 241-262. (2015)
  • Huovinen, Erkki, Tenkanen, Atte: Vapaa improvisaatio taidemusiikin säveltämisenä. Musiikillinen improvisaatio – Keskustelunavauksia soivan hetken kulttuureihin. Toim. Erkki Huovinen. Utukirjat 9, 45-76. (2015)
  • Huovinen, E., Tenkanen, A., & Kuusinen, V.-P.: Dramaturgical and Music-Theoretical Approaches to Improvisation Pedagogy. International Journal of Music Education, 29(1), 82–100. (2011)
  • Tenkanen, A.:Surveying Musical Form through Melodic-Motivic Similarities. Proceedings of the Third International Conference, MCM 2011, Paris. Agon et al. (Eds.). Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 6726, Springer, 370-373 (2011) Poster
  • Tenkanen, Atte.:Tonal Trends and alpha-motif in the First Movement of Brahms' String Quartet op. 51 nr. 1.Journal of Mathematics and Music 4(2):  93-106. [downloadable at journal site] 
  • Tenkanen, Atte: Comparison Structure Analysis. Doctoral thesis, Turun yliopisto. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis Ser B 327, Humaniora. (2010)
  • Tenkanen, A.: Searching for Better Measures: Generating Similarity Functions for Abstract Musical Objects. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Computing and Intelligent Systems (ICIS 2009), Shanghai, Vol. 4, 472-476 (2009) Ppt: ICIS2009ShanghaiVARA091122.pdf
  • Huovinen, E., Kuusinen, V.-P., Tenkanen, A.: Pedagogical Styles for Melodic Improvisation - Comparing the Effects of Music-Theoretical and Dramaturgic Instruction. Proceedings of the 7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM 2009) Jyväskylä, Finland. 202-208 (2009)
  • Tenkanen, A.:Evaluating Tonal Distances between Pitch-Class Sets and Predicting Their Tonal Centres by Computational ModelsMathematics and Computation in Music 2009, New Haven. E. Chew, A. Childs, C-H. Chuan (Eds. ). Springer series on Communications in Computer and Information Science 38. p.245-257. (2009) 
  • Tenkanen, A., Gualda, F.: Multiple Approaches to Comparison Set Analysis. SIM & Springer: Computational Musicology, Vol.1. (accepted for publication)
  • This anthology was never published. The last pdf-version of our article (10.8.2010) can now be found here (added 30.4.2015).
  • Tenkanen, A.: A Linear Algebraic Approach to Pitch-Class Set Genera. First International Conference, MCM 2007, Berlin. Revised Selected Papers (Communications in Computer and Information Science, Vol. 37), Springer, Timour Klouche and Thomas Noll (Eds), 521-530 (2009)
  • Tenkanen, A.: Tracking Features with Comparison Sets in Scriabin's Study op. 65/3. First International Conference, MCM 2007, Berlin. Revised Selected Papers(Communications in Computer and Information Science, Vol. 37), Springer, Timour Klouche and Thomas Noll (Eds), 211-219 (2009)
  • Huovinen, E.,Tenkanen, A.: Bird's Eye Views of the Musical Surface - Methods for Systematic Pitch-Class Set Analysis. Music Analysis26(1-2): 159-214 (2007)


  • Tenkanen, Atte.:Comparison Structure Analysis for Musical Understanding. 11th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition,  August 23-27, 2010, Seattle, Washington USA. A part of Symposium: Scalable Analytical Approaches and Performative Affordance, together with Fernando Gualda, Vanessa Haves and Jane Ginsborg. 2010
  • Huovinen E. and Tenkanen A.: Temporal Development and Cognitive Processes in Free Improvisation. 11th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition,  August 23-27, 2010, Seattle, Washington USA. Poster session. 2010
  • Tenkanen, A.: The quantitative properties of invertible counterpoint in compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach . The 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music. Queen's University Belfast, 30 June–4 July 2010.
  • Tenkanen, A.: Generating Better Similarity Functions for Music Analysis. Empirics, Computation, Mathematics, Science and Technology in Music and Acoustical Signal Analysis I (ECMST ~ MASA), Poster session. Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin. 2010
  • Tenkanen, A.:  Pictures of Music: Comparison Set Analysis in Practice. World Music Days, Beijing 1.-4.11. 2008. 
    • 音乐的图形形式 – 比较集合分 析的实践. 世界音乐周2008―中国―芬兰音乐国际研讨会
  • Tenkanen, A.,  Gualda, F.: Evaluating Tonal Centres in Pitch-Class Sets. CarMAC 2008, Cardiff University Music Analysis Conference 4.-7.9.2008, Cardiff, UK.
  • Tenkanen, A.,  Gualda, F.: Detecting Changes in Musical Texture. MML2008, International Workshop on Machine Learning and Music, 9.7.2008, as part of ICML 2008, Helsinki. Proceedings in . p. 34-35. 
  • Tenkanen, A.: Measuring Tonal Articulations in Compositions.International Workshop on Computational Music Analysis, 5.-6.4.2008. Ircam, Paris.
  • Tenkanen, A. & Huovinen, E.: Towards an empirical analysis of free improvisation. Empirical Musicology conference 2.-3.4. 2008. University of London, London.
  • Tenkanen, A. and Huovinen E. Laajan musiikillisen korpuksen säveltasorakenteiden tietokoneavusteinen tutkimus. Suomen musiikintutkijoiden symposiumin satoa, p. 161-165. Jyväskylä 2005. 


Other stuff: 

My web-pages:

Other interests:
  • I sing in a Gregorian Chant group Schola Cantorum Aboensis
  • Free improvisation in theory and practice