Music 270b. Musical Cognitive Science (redesigned to emphasize analysis of musical sound)
Winter quarter 2018. University of California, San Diego
Section ID 921950

Meetings: Mondays, 2:00-4:50, CPMC 367
Instructor: Professor Miller Puckette, CPMC 251,,

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 focused on cognitive processes in music listening and understanding, but starting in 2016 it has evolved to focus on computational models, particularly analysis of musical sound.

Over the course of the quarter I'll throw out four sonic challenges, soundfiles for you to attempt to analyze and resynthesize using techniques of your choice.

Here are the files (and a zip archive) of them) and movies from meetings.

Jan. 8. 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. 29. Resynthesize these crickets. Here's my attempt.

Jan. 15 no class (Martin Luther King day)

Jan. 22. 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"
Xavier Serra, "Musical sound modeling with sinusoids plus noise"

Jan. 29. 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. 26. Try to imitate this recording of pouring bubbly water... ( my attempt).

Feb. 5. Least-squares estimation techniques. Linear prediction/estimation; principal component analysis; Kalman filters.
(Wikipedia entries on the above)

Feb. 12. Pitch and pitch estimation.
Alain de Cheveigne and Hideki Kawahara, "YIN, a fundamental frequency estimator for speech and music"
(Terhardt's algorithm on

Feb. 19. no class (President's day)

Feb. 26. 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
Balzano, What are musical pitch and timbre? Music Perception. 1986

SONIC CHALLENGE 3, for presentation in class March 10. This sample from a vocal improvisation by Trevor Wishart... (my attempt).

Mar. 5. 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)

Mar. 12. Sound and space. Sound propagation, microphones and speakers; impulse response estimation; spatial perception; sound projection models.

Mar. 19. Foundations. Confidence intervals and significance tests, probability estimation, F scores, ANOVA, and all that