Music 270b. Musical Cognitive Science (redesigned)
Winter quarter 2016. University of California, San Diego
Section ID 857946

Meetings: Mondays, 2:00-4:50, CPMC 365
Instructor: Professor Miller Puckette, CPMC 251, 858-534-4823,,

This is the second third of the 270abc "sequence" that is the basis of the computer music graduate program - although students in other programs are also welcome. Some DSP knowledge, such as provided in 270a, will be very helpful.

Historically this course has focused on cognitive processes in music listening and understanding. In the 2016 redesign, the focus will be on computational models, particularly analysis of sound and musical structure.

Here are the files and movies.

Jan. 4. Short-time Fourier analysis. The Portnoff and "Convolution Brothers" frameworks; measuring phase, amplitude, and frequency of sinusoids; time/frequency resolution.
Jont Allen, "Short term spectral analysis, synthesis, and modification by discrete Fourier transform"
Puckette, Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music, Chapter 9

SONIC CHALLENGE 1, for presentation in class Jan. 25. Resynthesize these crickets. Here's my attempt.

Jan. 11. Short-time Fourier analysis (continued). Serra sinusoids-plus-noise model and its tweaks; multirate analysis; the constrained resynthesis problem.
Griffin and Lim, "Signal Estimation from Modified Short-Time Fourier Transform"
Xaview Serra, "Musical sound modeling with sinusoids plus noise"

Jan. 18 no class (Martin Luther King day)

Jan. 25. Measures of loudness and timbre. The bark scale; critical bands; timbre spaces; NMF partitioning of spectra
David Wessel, "Musical Timbre as a Musical Control Structure"
Hiroko Terasawa, Malcolm Slaney, Jonathan Berger, "Perceptual Distance In Timbre Space"

SONIC CHALLENGE 2, for presentation in class Feb. 22. Do either of the following:

1. This sample from a vocal improvisation by Trevor Wishart... ( my attempt).

2. This recording of pouring bubbly water... ( my attempt).

Feb. 1. Least-squares estimation techniques. Linear prediction/estimation; principal component analysis; Kalman filters.
(Wikipedia entries on the above)

Feb. 8. Pitch and pitch estimation.
Alain de Cheveigne and Hideki Kawahara, "YIN, a fundamental frequency estimator for speech and music"
(Terhardt's algorithm on

Feb. 15. no class (President's day)

Feb. 22. scales, key, and tonality. Helmholz theory of consonance and dissonance; prevalence of scale degrees; the mysterious minor key.
Lerdahl and Krumhansl, Modeling Tonal Tension
Parncutt, The Tonic as Triad: Key Profiles as Pitch Salience Profiles of Tonic Triads

SONIC CHALLENGE 3, for presentation in class March 14. Do any of the following:

1. Imitate this drug-enhanced organ solo. Here's my attempt.

2. Extract the vocal part from this recording. Here's my attempt.

3. (VERY HARD) - try to separate out the voices in this extract from Charles Dodge so that you can resynthesize them separately.

Feb. 29. Segmentation, beat, and rhythm. Onset detection; tempo estimation; score following.
Roger Dannenberg, "An On-Line Algorithm for Real-Time Accompaniment"
Gilbert Nouno, "Suivi de Tempo Applique aux Musiques Improvisees" (PhD thesis)
Ning Hu and Roger Dannenberg, "Bootstrap Learning for accurate Onset Detection"
Michelle Daniels, "An Ensemble Framework for Real-‐Time Audio Beat Tracking" (PhD thesis)

March 7. Musical structure and form. Tokenization and Markov modeling. Self-similarity. Suffix tree coding.
Reading: Dubnov and Surges, "Delegating Creativity: Use of Musical Algorithms in Machine Listening and Composition"