Research Groups

CCRMA Group Sites:

  • Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics Project

    The Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics Project seeks to explore the acoustics and instruments of Chavín de Huántar, a pre-Inca ritual center

    The Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics Project seeks to explore the acoustics and instruments of Chavín de Huántar, a pre-Inca ritual center in the north-central sierra of Peru. The site complex includes an extensive underground network of labyrinthine corridors, shafts, and drains built of stone block, intact and primarily without post-period modification since the end of monumental construction around 600 B.C. The project has several aims: to measure, analyze, archive, and model the acoustics of Chavín, culminating in simulations for public interface and archaeological research tools.

  • Gagaku Instruments and Orchestration

    Study of instrumental and compositional techniques in Gagaku music.
    To listeners educated in Western classical tradition one of the most striking features of gagaku music is its foremost emphasis on timbre. Unlike Western classical orchestral works, which use functional harmony and instrumental sound fusion gagaku music employs fixed harmony and non-fusion. This original sound results both from the acoustical properties of instruments comprising the ensemble, as well as from compositional techniques used to mix them together. This research focuses on orchestration in one of the three principal bodies of gagaku music: kangen. Its aim is to assist listeners who would like to understand better how to listen to gagaku music, and composers who would like to add new works to its repertoire.
  • Graduate Composers

    Forum for Graduate Composer Communication
  • Icons of Sound

    An interdisciplinary exploration of architectural psychoacoustics in Byzantium.
  • Intermedia Performance Lab (IPL)

    Research and Education in Interdisciplinary Art.

    Research and Education in Interdisciplinary Art.

  • Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPhO)

    "Do mobile phones dream of electric orchestras?"

    The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPhO) is a new repertoire-based ensemble using mobile phones (e.g., iPhones) as the primary musical instrument. Far beyond ring-tones, MoPhO's interactive musical works take advantage of the unique technological capabilities of today's hardware and software, transforming multi-touch screens, built-in accelerometers, built-in microphones, GPS, data networks, and computation into powerful and yet mobile chamber meta-instruments.

    MoPhO was instantiated in 2007 at CCRMA, Stanford University, by faculty member and director Ge Wang, Deutsche Telekom senior research scientist (now Michigan faculty member) Georg Essl, and visiting CCRMA researcher Henri Penttinen, with CCRMA Artistic Coordinator Chryssie Nanou, 2007-2008 MA/MST students, and generous support from Nokia. MoPhO performed its first public concert in January 2008.

  • Music in Virtual Worlds (MvW)

    Research into modes and methodologies for creating and controlling music in, by and through virtual environments.

    The Music in Virtual Worlds (MvW) research group focuses on the intersections between musical performance/composition and the use of virtual environments as controlling and performative spaces. 

    Recent research and performance projects include

    Play Your Phone! at the 2010 MiTo Festival, two evenings of performances featuring two new Mixed Reality works built in UDKOSC for piano and virtual performer.  Tele-harmonium by Robert Hamilton and Perkussionista by Juan-Pablo Caceres.

    Art direction for both works by Chris Platz and piano by Chryssie Nanou.



    MiTo 2010:


    2009 MiTo Festival:

      una serata in sirikata: +





  • Music, Computing, and Design (M:C:D)

    Research at the intersection of music, computing, and aesthetics/design

    The Music, Computing, and Design (MCD) research group, led by faculty member Ge Wang, conducts fun, innovative, and impact-producing research in computer music, including in (but not exclusive to) the following areas:

    • design of software systems for computer music (of all types and scales)
    • programming languages and interactive environments (e.g., ChucK)
    • the social, cognitive, human aspects of music and computing
    • software interfaces / interaction paradigms for composition, performance, and education
    • music information retrieval
    • computer-mediated performance ensembles (e.g., laptop orchestras; SLOrk)
    • mobile music / social music (e.g., mobile phone orchestras, MoPhO, also see Smule)
    • performances paradigms (e.g., live coding)
    • education at the intersection of computer scence and music
  • Physical Interaction Design for Music

    We study how to design novel physical interfaces for creating music

    Computers are becoming smaller and advanced sensing technologies are becoming more accessible to musicians. These trends allow musicians to create novel interfaces that promote the development of new music performance, new musical practices, and new art forms in general. Besides studying the practical aspects of prototyping new interfaces, we also research theory for conceiving of new interfaces and classifying them.

  • Signal Processing

    An overview of research being done in signal processing
  • Sound in Space

    Research into spatialization and diffusion of sound from the perspectives of technology, music composition and performance
  • SoundWIRE | Sound Waves on the Internet for Real-time Echoes

    SoundWIRE research group is concerned with the use of Internet networks as an extension to computer music performance, composition and research.
  • Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk)

    Cutting edge ensemble, research platform, new classroom

    The Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) is a large-scale, computer-mediated ensemble that explores cutting-edge technology in combination with conventional musical contexts - while radically transforming both. Founded in 2008 by director Ge Wang and students, faculty, and staff at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), this unique ensemble comprises more than 20 laptops, human performers, controllers, and custom multi-channel speaker arrays designed to provide each computer meta-instrument with its own identity and presence. The orchestra fuses a powerful sea of sound with the immediacy of human music-making, capturing the irreplaceable energy of a live ensemble performance as well as its sonic intimacy and grandeur. At the same time, it leverages the computer's precision, possibilities for new sounds, and potential for fantastical automation to provide a boundary-less sonic canvas on which to experiment with, create, and perform music.

    Offstage, the ensemble serves as a one-of-a-kind learning environment that explores music, computer science, composition, and live performance in a naturally interdisciplinary way. SLOrk uses the ChucK programming language as its primary software platform for sound synthesis/analysis, instrument design, performance, and education.

  • The Historical Recordings Project

    Digitizing, cataloging and documenting an extensive collection of pre-1920 audio recordings

    The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford recently received a donation of an extensive collection of pre-1920 audio recordings and equipment. The collection provides an astonishing audio portrait of the United States one hundred years ago. The goal of this project is to make these materials widely available for educational purposes. The collection is housed at CCRMA.

    The collection includes over 1500 pre-1920 cylinder recordings, cylinder players and supporting peripheral equipment and materials. The recordings include classical, popular, folk, spiritual and march music, Vaudeville routines and speeches.

    Supported by funds from the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, we are currently in the process of digitizing, cataloging and documenting each recording.

    The actual collection can be used as teaching and research materials for classes and individual research at Stanford. The seeds of this project were sown as part of a freshman seminar on Technology and the Arts. The materials are currently being cataloged, researched and transferred by graduate and undergraduate research associates with the goal of making the collection available to all. The cylinders and players are available by arrangement for student, faculty and community use. Student projects using these materials include:

    • historical studies of popular American culture, 
    • historical research on the music and recording industries, 
    • the evolution of popular music, 
    • the history of popular dance
    • engineering and scientific research on techniques of audio restoration, preservation and archiving.

    As the cataloging and research efforts are primarily student projects this on-line museum of historical recordings will be continually developing.