March 22, 2022

3 Videos on how Computer Science Impacts Music


  1. THIS is computer music | TEDxStanford
  2. Summer of Research: Where Music Meets Computer Science | University of Rochester
  3. Spotlight on Collaboration: Music and Computer Science | Earlham College

Thanks to computer science technology, the music industry has evolved significantly - in particular, leading to the expansion of music resources, enabling composers and producers to select from a myriad of sounds, tones and noises when creating music and rhythms. In addition to the music itself, computer science has added multiple creative elements to music videos to enhance the sounds, through virtual and augmented reality, as well as allowing viewers to stream online, tuning in anywhere in the world, at their fingertips.

In essence, a computer is used to produce output in the form of an alphanumeric representation of standard music notation or to print it. A standard instrumental and vocal ensemble is then used to perform the notated music. (Source: The Sass Way 2022)

To understand how computer science has impacted music, here are three video to demonstrate this from various perspectives:

#1 THIS is computer music | TEDxStanford

Ever wondered what “computer music” is? Ge Wang is an assistant professor at Stanford's Centre for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

His research focuses on programming languages and interactive software design for computer music, mobile and social music, laptop orchestras and education at the intersection of computer science and music. Wang is the author of the ChucK audio programming language, as well as the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPhO). He is also the co-founder of Smule (which makes social music making apps and has over 100 million users) and the designer of the iPhone's Ocarina and Magic Piano.

Watch video on YouTube here: Access Here

#2 Summer of Research: Where Music Meets Computer Science | University of Rochester

Seeing a connection with audio engineering with computer science in music is what the students here are researching into. That's the very question that Jake Altabef, a rising junior computer systems engineering major at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is looking into this summer. Along with Graham Palmer, a rising senior who is a computer science and oboe performance double major at University of Michigan, the aim of a 8 week-long federally funded REU (research experiences for undergraduates) program is to tackle some audio music engineering project and bring some data analysis to it.

Under the guidance of Stephen Roessner, a lecturer and instructor of audio music engineering and Darren Mueller, an assistant professor of musicology, the two undergrads have been focusing on older recordings like the tune "So What" off the Kind of Blue album. Their project takes various releases from over the years, on vinyl, cassette, CD, from different decades to analyse different measurable aspects of each release and then comparing them. While the recording didn't change, things like the signal to noise ratio vary quite a bit, which can significantly impact the listener experience.

Watch video on YouTube here: Access Here

#3 Spotlight on Collaboration: Music and Computer Science | Earlham College

In this video, Professor of Music Forrest Tobey and a group of five advanced computer science/computer music students are collaborating on developing a motion tracking system for live musical performance.

Under the guidance of the Professor, the group of students experiment with gadgets, tools and devices which are normally for video game use to create sounds and audio that can be interpreted into music.

Watch video on YouTube here: Access Here

What next?

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