Carnegie Mellon Computer Music Group

Research Seminars & Other Events

We meet approximately once every two-three weeks during the Fall and Spring semesters to discuss the latest in computer music and sound synthesis. EMAIL LIST: If you would like to be added to our email list to be informed about future presentations, please send email to Tom Cortina (username: tcortina, domain:

For other semesters, click here:
FALL 2013 | SPRING 2013| FALL 2012 | SPRING 2009 | FALL 2008 | SPRING 2008 | FALL 2007 | SPRING 2007 | FALL 2006 | SPRING 2006 | FALL 2005 | SUMMER 2005 | SPRING 2005



Friday, April 25 -- 5:00-6:00PM Margaret Morrison 119 ***SPECIAL DAY, TIME, PLACE
Topic: Canonical forms: A mathematician's view of musical canons
Speaker: Noam Elkies, Harvard University

Abstract: Musical canons, from simple rounds like Three Blind Mice to the compendium of canons Bach compiled in his Musical Offering, have a history almost as long as that of Western music itself, and continue to fascinate musical composers, performers and listeners. In a canon the same melody is played or sung in two or more parts at once; this melody must therefore make musical sense both as a tune and in harmony with a delayed or otherwise modified copy of itself. How does one go about constructing such a melody? This challenge has a mathematical flavor. It turns out that some kinds of canons are so easy to create that they can be improvised in real time, while other kinds are more demanding, and in some cases only a handful of examples are known. The talk will be illustrated with both abstract diagrams and specific musical examples, and may also digress into generalizations of canons (the forms known collectively as invertible counterpoint') and the reasons--besides showing off -- that so many composers incorporate canons into their music.

Tuesday, April 8 -- 1:30-2:30PM Newell Simon 1507 ***SPECIAL DAY, TIME, PLACE
Topic: Recent Developments in Automatic Music Alignment and Analysis
Speaker: Meinard Mueller, Max-Planck Institute for Informatics

Abstract: Meinard will present his work on music alignment, content-based music retrieval, dealing with tempo and timbral variations, and perhaps some applications to retrieving gestures from databases of captured human motion. Recent work includes the automated discovery of repeated patterns in music audio.

Wednesday, March 19 -- 3:30-4:30PM Newell Simon 3001
Topic: Collecting Information about Music through Online Games
Speaker: Edith Law

Abstract: Tagatune is an online game for collecting information about music. It aims to be simultaneously a game that people enjoy playing, a tool for music discovery, and a platform for evaluating machine learning algorithms. I will talk about the evolution of the game, and some plans for the future.

Wednesday, February 13 -- 3:30-4:30PM Newell Simon 3001
Topic: Nyquist 3.0 - now with fewer parentheses
Speaker: Roger Dannenberg

Abstract: After many years of comments that Nyquist suffers from its Lisp syntax, I have created a preprocessor based on Rick Taube's SAL language and integrated this into Nyquist. SAL has most of the power and semantics of Lisp, but uses a familiar infix and functional notation. I've also added a number of new synthesis primitives, a better help system, and SAL syntax coloring and indentation support in the built-in editor. I'll demonstrate all of these new features.

Web page and seminar program managed by Tom Cortina, CSD