Mysterium Corpus: The Solo Piano Music of Alexander Scriabin


  • Bryan Jacob Bell University of British Columbia
  • Joshua Albrecht University of Iowa



corpus, kern, piano music, post-tonal music, Alexander Scriabin


This article introduces the Mysterium corpus, the complete published oeuvre of Alexander Scriabin’s 207 solo piano works, and makes the corpus available in Humdrum’s kern format. Scriabin’s music presents distinct challenges, specifically in relation to his use of complex rhythmic and metric explorations and the idiosyncratic ways in which he notated his compositional ideas. While this sidetdataset is focused on Scriabin, the methodological challenges explored in the article may shed light on the encoding process for other related late-tonal and early post-tonal repertoires. As such, this article provides a case study of methodological considerations involved in systematically translating messy musical notations into a symbolic encoding of the musical data. Finally, this article provides descriptive statistics of the corpus, especially focusing on Scriabin’s treatment of meter and two harmonies (i.e., the dominant-seventh chord with lowered fifth, and the “Mystic” chord), and discusses the applicability of the Mysterium corpus for future research.




How to Cite

Bell, B. J., & Albrecht, J. (2023). Mysterium Corpus: The Solo Piano Music of Alexander Scriabin. Empirical Musicology Review, 17(2), 178–192.



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