Music 254

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Music Query, Analysis, and Style Evaluation

Music 254 has evolved over more than a decade from a seminar in music representation system to a project-oriented sandbox for applications involving the use of symbolic (discrete) musical data. (Music 252 offers an introduction to easily available notation software; Music 253 delves into the details of the professional notation program SCORE, the internal format of MIDI files, and issues in interchanging data between notation and sound.) It has been an incubator for software applications in such forward-looking areas as polyphonic query, the visualization of tonal harmony, and music query in non-Western (as well as Western) repertories.

Students in Music 254, having acquired skills in notation, MIDI, and data interchange in Music 253, explore the Humdrum Toolkit [1] to design their own research in areas appropriate to their background and interests. Previous programming experience is not necessary, but a working knowledge of musical notation and elementary concepts of music theory is.

The potential list of topics that may be covered in Music 254 is substantial, but in any given year those most salient to the skills and interests of the class are emphasized. The first month requires regular class meetings, an introduction and preliminary exercises in the use of Humdrum, and individually assigned readings in an area of mutual interest. Lab time is emphasized over the later six weeks of the quarter. Individual help with projects is available.

Arranging meeting times convenient for students from multiple schools and disciplines is a chronic problem. Those with an interest in Music 254 should contact Eleanor Selfridge-Field (esfield // at \\ at their earliest convenience.