Music 253/CS 275a Winter 2018 Syllabus

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Music 253/CS 275a "Symbolic Musical Information"
Stanford University (Winter 2018).

This music-information course surveys symbolic frameworks and methods for a wide range of musical applications. Areas covered include advanced notation systems, optical music recognition, data conversion and synchronization, and the internal structure of data files. The course is preparatory for Music 254/CS 275B (Music Query, Analysis, and Style Simulation), which focuses on projects requiring a working knowledge of notation and sound software.

Meeting times: Tuesday & Thursdays 1:30–2:50
Location: Braun Music Building, Rooms 105, 128 (lab entry from Room 129)
Instructors: Eleanor Selfridge-Field (
Craig Stuart Sapp (
Office Hours: 3:05–4:05 Tuesdays & Thursdays and by appointment.
Credits: 2–4

Four-credits: class attendance: 25%; weekly assignments: 50%; take-home final: 25%.
Three-credit/no final: class attendance: 33%; weekly assignments: 67%.
Two-credit/no final: choices negotiable (homework assignments selected in consultation with instructors).

Website: Overview of individual topics presented in Music 253, and syllabus.
Prerequisites: Ability to read standard music notation. Knowledge of central concepts of tonal music theory (see Tutorial).
Textbook: E. Selfridge-Field, ed., Beyond MIDI: The Handbook of Musical Codes (MIT Press, 1997). Available online by permission of the publisher.

1 Syllabus

See also Music 254/CS 275b Syllabus

Go to week: 1 | 2 | MIDI 3 | 4 | SCORE 5 | 6 | MuseData 7 | XML 8 | Humdrum 9 | 10

2 General Policies and University Rules

General policies and university rules:

  1. Delivery times:
    1. Assignments: by the start of the class for which they are due.
    2. Final exam: by 11 p.m. of the assigned date.
  2. Honor code: We will act and expect you to act according to the Stanford Honor Code.
  3. Students with disabilities: Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) located within the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). SDRC staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the SDRC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone 723-1066), URL