Summer Workshops 1996

Digital Signal Processing for Audio: Spectral and Physical Models

This course will cover analysis and synthesis of musical signals based on spectral and physical models. The course will be organized into morning lectures covering theoretical aspects of the models, and afternoon labs. The morning lectures will present topics such as Fourier theory, spectrum analysis, the phase vocoder, digital waveguides, digital filter theory, pitch detection, linear predictive coding (LPC), and various other aspects of signal processing of interest in musical applications.

The afternoon labs will be hands-on sessions using SMS and the Synthesis Toolkit in C++, SynthBuilder, and other software systems and utilities. Familiarity with engineering, mathematics, physics, and programming is a plus, but the lectures and labs will be geared to a musical audience with basic experience in math and science. Most of the programs used in the workshop will be available to take.

Computer-Assisted Research in Musicology

The workshop is offered in cooperation with the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, Stanford University.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to computer-assisted research in musicology and ethnomusicology using the Humdrum Toolkit. Participants will learn to manipulate computer-based scores, tablatures, and other documents in order to solve a wide variety of musicological problems. By way of example, participants will learn to characterize common patterns of orchestration in Beethoven symphonies, examine harmonic progressions in Bach chorale harmonizations, and investigate text/melody relationships in Gregorian chant.

Thousands of full scores will be available for processing on-line -- including repertoires from various cultures, periods, and genres. The course will be of particular value to scholars contemplating graduate-level or advanced music research projects.

All software and documentation from the workshop (including a sizeable score database) are free to take. The software is available for UNIX, DOS, OS/2 and Windows-95 (some restrictions apply). Familiarity with the `emacs' or `vi' text editors is recommended, limited knowledge of UNIX is helpful.

Introduction to Psychoacoustics and Psychophysics: Audio and Haptic Components of Virtual Reality Design

Guest lecturers: Perry Cook, Louis Rosenberg (Immersion Corp.), Bill Verplank (Interval Research), Malcolm Slaney (Interval Research).

This course will introduce concepts and apply tools from cognitive psychology to the composition of virtual audio and haptic environments. In particular, the salience of various auditory and haptic phenomena to the perception and performance of music will be examined.

Just as visual artists spend time learning perspective to provoke 3D effects, composers and virtual object designers must study the perceptual sciences to create virtual environments which are convincing upon hearing and touch. We will study relevant topics from acoustics, psychology, physics and physiology. We will apply these to the design and rendering of virtual objects not for the eyes, but for the haptic and audio senses. Principles of speech, timbre, melody, pitch, texture, force, and motion perception will be addressed. Various audio and haptic effects and illusions will be demonstrated.

Morning lectures will cover these topics and also feature talks by eminent researchers and entrepreneurs working in the fields of psychoacoustics and haptics. Afternoon labs will provide practical experience in psychophysics experiment design and execution. In addition to sound synthesis tools, various haptic interfaces will be made available for experiment designs.

[...more information...]

Introduction to Algorithmic Composition

This course introduces basic principles and techniques of algorithmic composition and covers such topics as object oriented music representation, chance composition, algorithmic description of musical processes, and musical pattern languages. Sound synthesis performed as course material will include MIDI, the (realtime) Music Kit and (non-realtime) Common Lisp Music. The course will be taught using the Common Music environment* on Mac and NeXT workstations. The labs will be hands-on spectral and physical modeling using software such as SMS, MusicKit, SynthBuilder, and simple C-Code examples. The Yamaha synthesizers to be used in the course will include the VL-1 and SY-77. All source code and documents from the workshop including the graphic interface are free to take. Prior programming experience is useful but not required.

Advanced Projects in Algorithmic Composition

Topics are continued from the first course but emphasis is placed on developing programming skills while working on individual projects.

[Students may take the full 4 week Algorithmic Composition course at a reduced tuition rate of $1400]

Intensive Audio Digital Signal Processing

This workshop covers applications of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) arising in digital audio research. The main topics addressed are practical spectrum analysis using the FFT, sound synthesis by means of spectrum models, and signal processing using the FFT.

Specific topics include FFT windows, spectrum analysis, FFT based convolution, and phase vocoders. Both the overlap-add and filterbank-summation interpretations of short-time Fourier processors will be addressed. Additionally, applications such as audio compression, and time/compression and expansion will be presented.

Annual Summer Concert

The annual concert of new music by CCRMA composers will take place during the Summer Workshops. It will be held at Frost Outdoor Amphitheater at Stanford on July 18, 1996.

Additional Information

Housing costs are not included in the course fee. Campus housing is available for the summer workshops through the Stanford University Conference Office. Information on lodgings in Stanford/Palo Alto vicinity will be sent to the spring workshop participants. No academic credit is offered for participation in the workshops.


  • CCRMA Summer Workshops
  • Department of Music
  • Stanford University
  • Stanford, CA 94305-8180, USA.
  • Phone: (415) 723-4971
  • Fax: (415) 723-8468
  • E-mail: aledin@ccrma.Stanford.EDU