Fabrice Marandola

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor, Director (CIRMMT)

Fabrice Marandola
Music Performance
Contact Information

555 Sherbrooke Street West

Montreal, QC, Canada

514-398-2847 (office)
Email address: 
fabrice.marandola [at] mcgill.ca

Performance Diplomas

  • 1997, Percussion Diploma with High Honours (First Prize in percussion) from the Superior National Conservatory of Paris (class of Jacques Delécluse, Jean Geoffroy and Michel Cals)
  • 1992-93, First Prize and Achievement Prize in percussion with unanimous jury, National Regional Conservatory of Paris (class of Frédéric Macarez)
  • 1991, First Prize in percussion with unanimous jury, centralized competition of the City of Paris (Conservatory of the 13th Arrondissement, class of Didier Benetti)
  • 1989, First Prize in percussion at National Music School of Montluçon (class of Daniel Ardaillon)

Music Teaching Diplomas

  • 1995, Certificate of Aptitude (CA) as Instructor of Percussion (rank of professor)
  • 1992, State Diploma (DE) as Specialized Artistic Teaching Assistant (percussion)

University Degrees

  • 2003, PhD in History of Music and Musicology, Very Honourable and Jury Commendation (“Mention très honorable avec félicitations du jury”): The Vocal Polyphonies of the Bedzan Pygmies of Cameroon: An Experimental Approach to the Scale System, under the direction of Professors Simha Arom (CNRS) and Louis Jambou (University of Paris IV-Sorbonne). Defended on December 8, 2003; jury: Professors Simha Arom, Louis Jambou, Nicolas Meeùs, Jean Molino, François Picard and Jean-Claude Risset
  • 1994, DEA in History of Music and Musicology, with High Honours (Un répertoire instrumental et sa musique : le Kpóníngbó des Zandé de Centrafrique), University of Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • 1993, Master’s Degree in Music, with High Honours (La musique de xylophone zandé – Centrafrique), University of Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • 1992, Licence (Bachelor) in Music, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • 1989, Baccalaureate A3 Music (with Honours); Honourable Mention in Music Education, at the Concours Général des Lycées (national competition, Paris)
Areas of expertise: 

Percussion, Ethnomusicology

Areas of interest: 

Musical Performance; Contemporary Music; Music and New Technologies; Pedagogy of Performance; Gesture and Music; Eye-tracking;

Ethnomusicology; Musical Analysis; Central African Music


“A percussionist is defined by the gesture of hitting.  It is a completely physical gesture, varying from extreme subtlety to a forcefulness that engages the entire body.” 

At the age of 5 years old, his father’s drum set and the gift of a small African drum inspired Fabrice Marandola to make a grand declaration: he would become a drummer!

20 years later, having earned a First Prize in Performance from the Conservatory of Paris with Jacques Delécluse, and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sorbonne, the dream of his youth has been more than adequately achieved. He has performed with the National Orchestra of France and the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France. He has taught percussion in Paris, Grenoble and Angers, all the while pursuing his passion for Ethnomusicology in Cameroon.

In 2005, Marandola moved to Montreal to become a professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.  Dividing his time between teaching, performing and research, he also became Associate Director of Artistic Research of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) from 2009 to 2014. He quickly became part of the contemporary percussion scene in Montreal, co-founding Percussion Ensemble Sixtrum and duo Akrostick.  He has played with the NEM, SMCQ, and Kore, and directs the McGill Percussion Ensemble. From 2014 to 2017, he is elected president of the board of directors of Le Vivier, an organism that regroups all of the ensembles dedicated to new music in Quebec.

In all of his activities, Marandola values exploration, risk, discovery and creativity.  His approach constantly questions the role of the musician in society, and the future of music, as it becomes transformed more and more by technology. Above and beyond all, it is the pleasure - both intellectual and physical - of playing that guides his work; a pleasure shared with his fellow collaborators; a pleasure that he aims to share in the studio with his students, and on stage with the public.

“With Sixtrum, we work as explorers.  We work with the living:  Live composers. Live musicians.  Today’s music brought to life.”

Catherine Leroux

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Senior Research Chair

Chaire thématique Sorbonne-Universités: 'Geste-Acoustique-Musique' (2015-2016)

Conseil Québécois de la Musique - Prix Opus

“Evénement musical de l’année” / "Musical Event of he Year"

  • 2018-19, Rythmopolis; role: producer, musical director and co-designer
  • 2009-2010, L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité, opera by G. Tremblay; role: performer

“Concert de l’année – musiques contemporaine, moderne” / "Concert of the Year - Contemporary and Modern Music"

  • 2018-19, Grand concert 30ème anniversaire, dir. Lorraine Vaillancourt, co-production NEM/SIXTRUM; role : performer and delegate artistic director of SIXTRUM

“Concert de l'année musique actuelle, électroacoustique" / ""Concert of the Year - 'Musique actuelle' and Electroacoustics"

  • 2013-2014, De souffles et de machines II, Live@CIRMMT; role: co-producer (CIRMMT, Co-director/Artistic Research)
  • "Livre de l’année"
    • 2008-09, Circuit, vol. 18-3, Montréal, Les Presses de l’université de Montréal; role: author of one chapter, "Pulau Dewata : des arrangements raisonnables ?", pp. 53-72

Académie Charles-Gros

  • “Grand Prix du disque – Musique Contemporaine”
    • 2003, Chants…, by C. Vivier with Les Jeunes Solistes (dir. Rachid Safir), Musique Média/Les Jeunes Solistes(S206-NT 103); role: performer
  • “Coups de Coeur musique Contemporaine”
    • 2017, Musique de chambre, works by Bruno Giner, Musicube (CUB1612); role: performer of Yoshihisa_in memoriam, solo marimba
    • 2017, De la percussion, works by Philippe Leroux, Sixtrum Percussion Ensemble, Soupir Éditions (SOUPIR 5232); role: performer and delegate artistic director (Sixtrum)

Montreal English theatre Awards (METAS)

  • “Outstanding PACT Production (Professional Association of Canadian Theatre)
    • 2016-17, Angélique, with theatre company Tableau d’Hôte and Black theatre Workshop; role: performer and co-composer (SIXTRUM)
  • “Outstanding Contribution to Theatre”
    • 2016-17, awarded to SIXTRUM for its contribution to the production of Angélique

Jeune Chambre de Commerce / Conseil des Arts de Montreal

  • 2011, "Prix Arrimage”, concert Lumières, SIXTRUM
Selected publications: 

Research Articles and Book Chapters

2019, F. Marandola,"Eye-Hand Synchronization in Xylophone Performance: Two Case-Studies with African and Western Percussionists". Journal of Eye Movement Research, 11(2):7. DOI 10.16910/jemr.11.2.7; ISSN: 1995-8692 – published 30-03-2019, 24p.

2017, F. Marandola, M.F. Mifune, F. Vahabzadeh, “Approche interdisciplinaire du geste musical en ethnomusicologie”, Cahiers d’ethnomusicologie (30), Ateliers d'Ethnomusicologie, Genève, pp. 45-72.

2014, F. Marandola, “Expressiveness In The Performance Of Bedzan Pygmies’ Vocal Polyphonies: When The Same Is Never The Same”, Expressiveness in music performance: Empirical approaches across styles and cultures, Oxford University Press, D. Fabian, R. Timmers, E. Schubert (eds), book chapter, pp. 200-216

2013, G. Boutard, F. Marandola, “Méthode et application de la documentation des œuvres mixtes en vue de leur préservation et de leur diffusion”, Circuit, vol. 23:2, Montréal, Les Presses de l’université de Montréal, G. Boutard (ed.), pp. 37-47

2012, F. Marandola, “Of Paradigms and Drums: analyzing and performing Peaux from Pleiades”, Xenakis Matters, Pendragon Press, S. Kanach (ed.), pp. 185-204

2011, A. Bouenard, M. Wanderley, S. Gibet and F. Marandola, “Synthesis of Music Performance: Advantages and Limitations of Simulating Percussion Gestures for Sound Synthesis”, Computer Music Journal, 35:3, pp. 57-72.

2009, C. Guastavino, F. Gomez, G. Toussaint, F. Marandola, E. Gomez, “Perception of Rhythmic Similarity in Flamenco Music”, Journal of New Music Research, vol. 38, (2), pp. 129-138

2009, F. Marandola, "Apprentissage et improvisation dans les musiques d’Afrique centrale", Percussions, n° 26, Paris, pp. 58-64

2008, S. Arom, N. Fernando, S. Fürniss, S. LeBomin, F. Marandola & J. Molino, "La catégorisation des patrimoines musicaux dans les sociétés de tradition orale", Catégories et Catégorisation. Une perspective interdisciplinaire, Frank Alvarez-Péreyre (ed.), Peeters, SELAF, coll. Numéros spéciaux, 33, pp. 273-313

2008, F. Marandola, "Pulau Dewata : des arrangements raisonnables ?", Circuit, vol. 18-3, Montréal, Les Presses de l’université de Montréal, pp. 53-72. The volume earned the Prix-Opus "Livre de l’année".

2007, S. Arom, N. Fernando, S. Fürniss, S. LeBomin, E. Olivier, F. Marandola, Hervé Rivière et O. Tourny, "Typologie des techniques polyphoniques", in Jean-Jacques Nattiez (éd.), Musiques. Une encyclopédie pour le XXIe siècle, vol. V "L'unité de la musique", Editions Actes Sud, pp. 1088-1109

2005, S. Arom, N. Fernando, S. Fürniss, S. LeBomin, E. Olivier, F. Marandola, Hervé Rivière et O. Tourny, "Tipologia delle tecniche polifoniche", in Einaudi Enciclopedia della Musica, Vol. V “L'unità della musica”, Torino, Einaudi, pp. 1065-1068

2004, F. Marandola, "The Study of Musical Scales in Central Africa: the Use of Interactive Experimental Methods", Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval, Uffe K. Wiil (éd.), coll. Lecture Notes in Computer Sciences, Springer Verlag, Berlin, vol. 2771, pp. 34-41, + CD-Rom

2000, F. Marandola, "Les principes de fonctionnement du système pentatonique", Forum de discussion 1, Musicæ Scientæ, pp. 97-106.

1999, F. Marandola, "L'apport des nouvelles technologies à l'étude des échelles musicales d'Afrique centrale", Journal des Africanistes, T. 69-2, pp. 109-119

1997, V. Dehoux, S. Le Bomin, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, "Un itinéraire rythmique : du Cameroun à la Centrafrique", Cahiers de musique traditionnelle - "Rythme" n°10, Ateliers d'Ethnomusicologie, Genève, pp. 81-105

1995, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, "Le dernier des xylophones Mofou-Goudour (province de l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun) ?", Percussions sans frontières, n° 42

1995, N. Fernando & F. Marandola , "Les xylophones d'Afrique subsaharienne", Percussions sans frontières, n° 40



2017, M. Mutio, F. Marandola, K. Ben Mansour, J. André and F. Marin, “Motion analysis of snare drum in relation with the musician’s expertise”, in Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, vol. 20, n. S1, S149–S150

2016, L. Chen, S. Gibet, P.F. Marteau, F. Marandola, M. Wanderley, “Quantitative Evaluation of Percussive Gestures by Ranking Trainees versus Teacher”, in Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Movement and Computing, Thessaloniki, Greece

2014, I. Hattwick, P. Beebe, Z. Hale, M. Wanderley, P. Leroux & F. Marandola, “Unsounding Objects: Audio Feature Extraction for he Control of Sound Synthesis”, in Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Goldsmiths, University of London, pp. 597-600.

2014, G. Boutard F. & Marandola, “Mixed Music Creative Process Documentation Methodology: Outcomes of the Dip-Core Project”, in Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology – CIM14. Berlin, Germany 2014, 3 p.

2014, G. Boutard F. & Marandola, “Dissémination et préservation des musiques mixtes : une relation mise en œuvre”, in Actes des Journées d’Informatique Musicale 2014 (pp. 130–134). Bourges.

2014, B. Bacon, M.M. Wanderley & F. Marandola, "Handedness in Percussion Sight-Reading", in Proceedings of the 2014 International Workshop on Movement and Computing, pp.  112-117 

2010 F. Marandola (ed.), Xenakis : Arts/Science, Proceedings, Montreal, October 1, 2010, ISBN : 978-0-7717-0699-8, 30 p.

2008a, C. Guastavino, F. Marandola, G. Toussaint, F.Gomez & R. Absar, "Perception of rhythmic similarity in Flamenco music: Comparing musicians and non-musicians", Proceedings of the fourth Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM08), C. Tsougras, R. Parncutt (Eds.), Thessaloniki, Greece, 2-6 July 2008

2008b, C. Guastavino, G. Toussaint,  F.Gomez, F. Marandola & R. Absar, "Rhythmic similarity in Flamenco music: Comparing psychological and mathematical measures", Proceedings of the fourth Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM08), C. Tsougras, R. Parncutt (Eds.), Thessaloniki, Greece, 2-6 July 2008, 

2007, F. Marandola, "L’expérimentation en ethnomusicologie ou comment aller au-delà du langage", Proceedings of IHM 2007, 19ème Conférence de l’Association Francophone d’Interaction Homme-Machine (Paris, France, 13-15 novembre 2007), ACM Press, International Conference Proceedings Series

2007, R. Absar, F.Gomez, C. Guastavino, F. Marandola & G. Toussaint, "Perception of meter similarity in flamenco music", Proceedings of the 2007 annual conference of the Canadian Acoustical Association, October 9-12 2007, Montreal, QC, Canadian Acoustics, 35(3), pp. 46-47

2007, S. Arom, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, "An Innovative Method for the Study of African Musical Scales: Cognitive and Technical Aspects", Proceedings SMC'07, 4th Sound and Music Computing Conference, 11-13 July 2007, Lefkada, Greece, Charalampos Spyridis and al. (éd.), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, pp. 107-116

2005, S. Arom, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, "An innovative Methodology for the Study of African Scales: Cognitive and Technical Aspects", Post-proceedings of the XVIIIth European Seminar for Ethnomusicology, R. Astraukas (éd.), Lithuanian Academy of music and Theatre, Vilnius, pp. 161-173

2003, S. Arom, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, "A cognitive approach to Bedzan Pygmies vocal polyphony and Ouldeme instrumental polyphony: methodology and results", Proceedings of the 5th Triennial ESCOM Conference, R. Kopiez et al. (éds), Hanover University of Music and Drama, ISBN: 3-931852-67-9, pp. 457-466

2003, F. Marandola, "The Study of Musical Scales in Central Africa: the Use of Interactive Experimental Methods", Proceedings of the international workshop Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval (CMMR' 2003), Montpellier, pp.47-55



  • In prog. Des Puces et des Drums, works by R. Normandeau, S. Provost and L. Radford, Sixtrum Percussion Ensemble, CIRMMT Series/ElectroCD, 2 DVD
  • 2017, De la percussion, works by P. Leroux, Sixtrum Percussion Ensemble, Soupir (S232)
  • 2017 Musique de chambre, works by Bruno Giner (F. Marandola: Yoshihisa_in memoriam, solo marimba), Musicube, CUB1612, 2017, 2 CDs. 
  • 2014, Baobabs, by Robert Normandeau, on the CD Dômes dedicated to his works, Empreintes DIGITALes, IMED 14128, 2014
  • 2012, Concertino Nervoso, works for percussion by A. Petit, CIRMMT/Le Chant du Monde – Harmonia Mundi/MFA, 1 CD, LCD 278 1155
  • 2010, Opéra Féérie - L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité, by G. Tremblay/P. Morency, Chants Libres, CL 2010, 1 DVD. 
  • 2010, Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, music by J.F. Messier, Warner Home Video/National Film Board of Canada, 1 DVD
  • 2008, Georges Delerue : Œuvres pour piano et instruments divers, « Mouvements » by G. Delerue, for solo percussion and piano, DCM CL205
  • 2003, Chants… by C. Vivier with Les Jeunes Solistes (directed by R. Safir), Musique Média/Les Jeunes Solistes, S206-NT 103, 2 CD. 
  • 2002, Sixth Symphony of G. Mahler with French National Orchestra (directed by Bernard Haitink), Naïve-Radio-France, 1 CD


  • 2002, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, Nord Cameroun – Musique des Ouldémé, Au rythme des saisons, collection Inédit, W 260104
  • 2000, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, Cameroun – Pygmées Bedzan de la plaine Tikar, collection Inédit, W 260095
  • 1996, N. Fernando & F. Marandola , Cameroun – Flûtes des Monts Mandara, collection OCORA Radio-France, C 560 110


  • 1999, N. Fernando & F. Marandola, Une harpe ouldémé, coll. CNRS-Audiovisuel, 16min.
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