Martha E. Thomae

PhD Candidate in Music Technology

Early Music Preservation and Encoding

Full name:
Martha Eladia María / Thomae Elías

I am a PhD candidate working under the supervision of Ichiro Fujinaga and Julie Cumming in the Music Technology Area of the Schulich School of Music, McGill University. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and a Master’s degree in Music Technology from McGill University. Since 2015, I have been a member of the Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis (SIMSSA) project and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) at McGill, serving as student coordinator of the Music Information Research axis of CIRMMT from 2017–2019.

My research is focused on the preservation and encoding of mensural music. I have developed tools to facilitate the encoding of this repertoire, including the Mensural MEI Translator and the Automatic Scoring-up Tool. I am an active member of the Mensural MEI Interest Group (IG), where we look into the best options for encoding the various features of mensural notation to represent the characteristics of the vocal polyphonic music from the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Since 2020, I have been acting as Co-Chair of the Mensural MEI IG and as a member of the MEI Board (2020–2022). Currently, I am working on a project that involves the digitization and encoding of the musical content of a Guatemalan choirbook from the colonial period which is written in mensural notation. This research is funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture (FRQSC).


  • Thomae, Martha E. “The Guatemalan Choirbooks: Facilitating Preservation, Performance, and Study of the Colonial Repertoire.” In Christian Music Traditions in the Americas, edited by Andrew Shenton and Joanna Smolko. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021.

  • Thomae, Martha E., Antonio Ríos-Vila, Jorge Calvo-Zaragoza, David Rizo, and Jose M. Iñesta. “Retrieving Music Semantics from Optical Music Recognition by Machine Translation.” In Music Encoding Conference Proceedings 26-29 May, 2020, 19–24. Tufts University, Boston, 2020.

  • Desmond, Karen, Andrew Hankinson, Laurent Pugin, Juliette Regimbal, Craig Sapp, and Martha E. Thomae. “Next Steps for Measuring Polyphony–A Prototype Editor for Encoding Mensural Music.” In Music Encoding Conference Proceedings 26-29 May, 2020, 121–24. Tufts University, Boston, 2020.

  • Thomae, Martha E., Julie E. Cumming, and Ichiro Fujinaga. 2019. “The Mensural Scoring-Up Tool.” In Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology, 9–19. The Hague, Netherlands: ACM.

  • Thomae, Martha E. 2017. “Automatic Scoring up of Mensural Music Using Perfect Mensurations, 1300-1550.” Master’s Thesis, Montreal: McGill University.

  • Thomae, Martha E. “Desarrollo de un modelo algorítmico para la transformación de partituras musicales escritas en notación mensural blanca a notación contemporánea.” Undergraduate Thesis, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, 2013.

Research Interests

  • Music Information Retrieval
  • Symbolic Music
  • Music Preservation
  • Music Encoding
  • Early Music
  • Machine Learning

Academic Record

  • PhD candidate in Music Technology, McGill University
  • MA in Music Technology, McGill University
  • Licenciatura en Matemática (BSc in Mathematics), Universidad del Valle de Guatemala