Music | Introduction to Music Informatics
N560 | 26382 | D. Byrd

Informatics I590 (cross-listed as Music N560) INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC
INFORMATICS Prof. Donald Byrd

Mon/Wed/Fri 1:25 - 2:15 PM, in Simon Center 373

This course will briefly cover several areas that are important in
music informatics. While not primarily a readings course, it will be
organized around readings and, often, systems or Web sites for each
area, with students giving regular presentations to the class on the
assigned readings, systems, and Web sites.  We'll explore music in
audio as well as symbolic (MIDI and
notation) forms. There will be short assignments, including some that
involve writing simple programs, and a final project on any of a wide
variety of topics.

We will listen to and look at real music as much as possible, and in
as wide a variety of styles as possible.

Prerequisites: You should be at ease with technical thinking in
general (as expected in most informatics and physical-science courses
and many music-theory courses, for example). Solid understanding of
music fundamentals is essential; some music theory background is
helpful. Musical background comparable to sophomore music majors
should be more than enough. Computer programming experience in any
language will be very helpful, but is not required. The course is
open to graduate students; however, I'd be happy to include qualified

Topics covered:

* Making music; basics of digital audio

* Acoustics and psychoacoustics; how what we expect influences what
we hear

* Music representation and music notation; converting between
formats, etc.

* Music retrieval by content; genre classification, "covers", and
music-recommender systems

* Music similarity, sampling, and intellectual property rights

* Digital music libraries: music retrieval via metadata (bibliographic
information, etc.)

* User interfaces and visualization for music systems

* Synthesis of sounds and of music: new approaches to performance,
composition, and improvisation

For more information, contact me (, phone 856-