Music 364

Data-Driven Research in Music Cognition

CCRMA, Stanford University

Time and Place—Winter 2017

Class meetings

Fridays 12:30-2:20pm
Knoll 315 (CCRMA Seminar Room, 3rd floor)

Office hours

Fridays 2:30-3:30pm (CCRMA seminar room)
And by appointment


Blair Kaneshiro, blairbo AT

Course Description

Project-based course exploring the impact of music on human behavior using evidence of user engagement with music in large-scale datasets including publicly available industrial and social-media data and corpuses published for research purposes. Data-driven research complements laboratory-based behavioral and imaging research by focusing on framing and addressing music-related questions using pre-existing datasets. Class meetings include lectures, guest speakers, and student discussions of background literature and projects. Assignments include weekly readings, labs, and a final project. Basic musical proficiency is required. Experience with programming, data visualization, statistics, or music cognition is desirable.

2-4 units


Required: Frank, Jay (2009). Futurehit.DNA: How the Digital Revolution is Changing Top 10 Songs. Futurehit, Inc.
We will have a limited number of copies of the book available for sale in class at a discounted price. Also available on Amazon (paperback or Kindle).

Additional assigned readings are freely available online or will be made available through Canvas.


30%     Attendance and participation
Includes attending all class meetings and arriving on time to class; preparing for and actively participating in class discussions; engaging with guest speakers.
Since class meets only once per week, attendance and participation are especially critical. Students with planned absences (e.g., for conferences or interviews) must notify the instructor at least one week before the missed class and arrange to make up the content covered in the missed class.

20%     Homework/lab assignments
Code-based labs, readings, and short written assignments will be assigned over the course of the quarter. Assignments will be posted on the homework page.

50%     Final project
Includes final paper, final presentation, midterm presentation, and project checkpoints over the course of the quarter. See projects page for more information.

Final Exam

The scheduled Final Exam time for the course is Friday, March 24 from 12:15-3:15pm.
There is no final exam for the course. If final presentations do not take place on the last day of class (Friday, March 17), we will use the Final Exam time for final presentations.
Final papers will be due by the end of the scheduled Final Exam time.

Students with Documented Disabilities

Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty. For students who have disabilities that do not typically change appreciably over time, the letter from the OAE will be for the entire academic year; other letters will be for the current quarter only. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, URL: