CAPES Thesis Award – PPGM-UFRJ announces the result of the internal selection process

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Meeting remotely on May 27, 2020, the Evaluation Committee assigned for this purpose decided on the selection of the Doctoral Thesis that should represent the UFRJ Graduate Program in Music in the 15th edition of the CAPES Award for Thesis. The contest aims to award the best doctoral theses defended in Brazil in 2019, in each of the evaluation areas of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).

Comprised of two professors from each of the program’s Research Lines and a member external to UFRJ, the commission included the participation of professors João Miguel Freire, Sergio Alvares, Samuel Araújo, Regina Meirelles, Maria Alice Volpe, João Vidal, Marcos Nogueira , Pauxy Gentil-Nunes, Paulo Sá, Paula da Matta and, as an external guest, professor Paulo Castagna (UNESP).

In the selection process for nomination for the award, ten newly doctored authors, from three of the program’s Research Lines, whose works were analyzed by the commission in the light of the criteria established by the CAPES notice: originality, relevance for scientific, technological development, cultural and social, and innovative character. The general quality of Doctoral Theses, as highlighted by the commission’s members, revealed not only the fulfillment of such criteria but also consistent theoretical and methodological contributions to Music Research.

As highlighted by professor João Vidal, program coordinator, and president of the session, the moment marks the conclusion of an important cycle in the development of PPGM-UFRJ. The process of implementing the Doctoral program in 2015 was the result of the collective effort the faculty of the program and the commitment of the two teachers who preceded him in the function, former coordinators Marcos Nogueira and Pauxy Gentil-Nunes.

Based on the nominations of the committee members, the Doctoral Thesis The Theory of Sound Domain by André Codeço dos Santos was elected as representative of the production of PPGM-UFRJ. André elaborated on the work under the guidance of Professor Liduino Pitombeira de Oliveira. The thesis, developed in the area Creative Processes, Research Line Poetic of Musical Creation, and within the scope of the Research Group MusMat, had the co-supervision of the distinguished professors Carlos Eduardo Mathias Motta (UFF) and Robert Peck (Louisiana State University).

As defined by the author, his research is placed “alongside so many others in an attempt to describe essentially musical patterns through mathematical language,” based on a common point perceived in the abstractions of music and mathematics. “The first recognizes patterns in the universe and describes them; the second engenders the principles that establish patterns (…)”. In this sense, music is closer to the subjective organization of patterns, and mathematics is closer to a possible language that identifies patterns and describes them”.

It is from this position that Codeço dos Santos formulates the hypothesis that “a singular understanding of time as a dimension of reality, which can apply in the musical environment, reveals original and well-known mathematical mechanisms that recognize and describe musical patterns.” He denominates the same hypothesis as the Theory of Sound Domain, whose establishment becomes the central objective of the research.

Located in the sphere of Musical Theory and Analysis, and bringing together the fields of Music and Mathematics, Codeço dos Santos’ work met the criteria of the CAPES Award for Thesis 2020. It presents the characteristics of theoretical and methodological innovation, originality, and relevance for scientific, technological, cultural, and social development. The Commission also highlighted its depth and sophistication, its innovative character and its potential impact on the Area of Music.

The PPGM-UFRJ wishes success to Codeço dos Santos, thanking all those directly and indirectly involved in the consolidation of the Doctorate in Music in the program and congratulating, mainly, not only the student (as an actual egress) but also the advisor and co-supervisors of Theory of Sound Domain.

The work is available here.