The Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering (Sound and Music Computing) is a 2-year, research-based, full-time study programme, set to 120 ECTS credits. Its mission is to train the next generation of professionals to push forward the sound and music technologies of the new information society. By combining practical and theoretical approaches in topics such as computational modeling, audio engineering, perception, cognition, and interactive systems, the programme gives the scientific and technological background needed to start a research or professional career. This program trains students on the technologies for the analysis, description, synthesis, transformation and production of sound and music, and on the technologies and processes that support sound and music creation.
Sound & Music Computing graduates specialise in:
- Systematically conceiving, designing, implementing, programming and evaluating prototypes of sound and music technology for different applications, including virtual and augmented reality, music production, music performance, sound design, reproduction systems, and hearables.
- Analysing, applying, and developing theories and technologies behind sound and music technology, such as sound processing, perception & cognition, sonic interaction design, embodied interaction and modeling of physical systems.
- Operating effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary research and development team in collaboration with clients and representative users.
- Designing, executing, and analysing experiments to evaluate sound and music technology and prototypes in a scientific manner.
|1st SEMESTER, THEME: FOUNDATIONS OF SOUND AND MUSIC COMPUTING|
|Foundations of Sound and Music Computing||PROJECT||15||7 point scale|
|Sound Processing||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|New Interfaces for Musical Expression||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|Music Perception and Cognition||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|2nd SEMESTER, THEME: SONIC INTERACTION DESIGN|
|Sonic Interaction Design||PROJECT||15||7 point scale|
|Sound and Music Signal Analysis||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|Modelling Physical Systems||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|Embodied Interaction||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|3rd SEMESTER, THEME: SOUND AND MUSIC INNOVATION|
|Sound and Music Innovation||PROJECT||15||7 point scale|
|Research in Sound and Music Computing||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|Choose two of the following:|
|Multimodal Perception and Cognition||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|Prototyping and Fabrication Techniques||COURSE||5||Pass / Fail|
|Machine Learning for Media Technology||COURSE||5||7 point scale|
|Project-oriented Work in a Company||PROJECT||30||Pass / Fail|
|4th SEMESTER, THEME: MASTER'S THESIS|
|Master's thesis||PROJECT||30||7 point scale|
SMC1: Foundations of SMC
Students are required to investigate sound and music computing from a formal perspective,work according to a scientific method, and report results in scientific forms of dissemination.
- Must be able to apply the core elements in real-time sound processing and new interfaces for musical expression.
- Must be able to apply principles of music perception and cognition.
- Must be able to apply theories of sound and music computing, to design, implement and evaluate a system which uses sound as output modality.
- Must be able to synthesize relevant theory, techniques and tools to produce new knowledge and/or solutions.
- Must be able to synthesize and discuss research-based knowledge in the area of sound and music computing, in the format of a scientific paper
COURSE: Sound processing
This class introduces the fundamental sound technology of digital signal processing from the viewpoint of sound synthesis and digital audio effects. Signal processing is concerned with the theory and practice behind acquisition, analysis, modification, and reconstruction of signals. It involves such theory as sampling and quantization, linear time-invariant systems, difference equations and the z-transform. The proper application and development of such systems requires competences in the acquisition and manipulation of sounds.
- Understand the basic filter types, such as low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, etc., filters and filter design methods.
- Understand delay lines and delay based effects (flangers, vibrato, chorus, echo) as well as modulators and demodulators.
- Understanding spatial effects.
- Design, implement and apply filters to sound and music signals and evaluate the results
- Apply the z-transform to analysis and design of filters
- Apply signal processing theory to the design of filters and digital audio effects.
- Apply appropriate methods and tools to the design of a sound processing system comprising filters and/or audio effects
- Apply appropriate methods, tools, and programming paradigms to implement real-time sound effects.
COURSE: Music perception and cognition
Musical information is created, communicated and processed in a wide variety of contexts and activities. Musical information may encode musical sound, perceived musical structure, the affective or semantic content of music, musical gestures or musical interactions. The ability to design and build effective and efficient computing systems for processing musical information requires an understanding of how such information is created, represented, communicated and processed by humans. This course introduces experimental, theoretical, computational and neuroscientific work that has contributed to our understanding of how musical information is created, represented, communicated and processed, both in the brain and the body, when humans perform musical tasks such as listening, dancing, performing, composing and improvising.
- Must understand the basic cognitive and motoric mechanisms underlying music perception and cognition when creating, communicating or interacting with music.
- Must understand current theories of how perception of musical structure is influenced by cognitive and cultural variables.
- Must understand current theories of how motion (embodiment) and emotion (affect) are represented and communicated by music.
- Apply empirical methodologies in the design and execution of appropriate experiments for testing hypotheses in the field of music perception and cognition.
- Must be able to apply knowledge on basic computational models of specific aspects of music perception and cognition (e.g., perception of musical streams, expressive timing).
- Must be able to apply theories and models of music perception and cognition.
- Must be able to apply and synthesize understanding of experimental, computational, theoretical and neuroscientific research on music perception and cognition in the design and testing of music computation systems.
COURSE: New interfaces for musical expression
This module focuses on the study of real-time interaction from two perspectives, conceptual and technological. Making music has always integrated the paradigm of rich and complex human creativity. The conceptual component of this course examines performance practices using advanced real-time technologies for interaction design and signal processing. From this perspective, the concepts of 'controller device', ‘synthesis/processing’ and 'mapping' are studied in depth. Musical context is a core focus in the class, including studying expert interaction, analyzing concepts such as playability, explorability, non-linearity, control, expressiveness and/or virtuosic interaction. The technical aspects of the course require studying and implementing both software (programming) and electronic transducers (sensor / actuator)-based designs for real-time interaction and performance. Different programming languages for signal processing and methods for interaction design are studied, as well as real-time communication protocols.
- Understand the concepts and history of real-time interaction for musical expression.
- Understand the concepts of musical controller, mapping and feedback, including protocols for real-time interfaces for musical performance.
- Understand real-time human-computer interaction in a musical performance perspective.
- Apply knowledge to the design of a prototype interface for musical expression, using modern digital fabrication techniques.
- Apply methods and theories for real-time interaction design, programming of signal processing, and appropriate design of electronic transducer based interfaces.
- Synthesize their own idea, from concept to realization, of a New Interface for Musical Expression, via the application of appropriate methods and tools to the design of a real-time interactive sound synthesis or processing system comprising a human interface appropriate to the concept.
SMC2: Sonic Interaction Design
Explore the field of sonic interaction design with a focus on one of the following applications: 1) Interactive product sound design, 2) sonic interactions in arts, 3) interactive sonification. Perform an evaluation of the perceptual and/or cognitive aspects of sonic interactions from a human centered perspective.
- Must be able to understand the discipline of sonic interaction design.
- Must be able to understand action-perception relationships within sonic interaction and sonification.
- Must be able to understand principles of embodied music perception, cognition and action.
- Must be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the design of a system where interactive sound plays a salient role, being either in an artistic context, in the field of interactive product sound design, or in the field of interactive sonification.
- Must be able to apply knowledge in human sound perception and cognition to the evaluation of the proposed solution.
- Must be able to evaluate the proposed application from a human centered perspective, and synthesize it to produce new knowledge and solutions.
COURSE: Sound and Music Signal Analysis
The course introduces the fundamentals sound and music analysis: 1) methods required to perform analysis of sound and music signals; 2) representations commonly used in sound and music analysis; 3) various analysis tasks involving sound and music representations. The first part focuses on the basic methods, e.g., spectral analysis, parameter estimation, audio decomposition methods, filterbanks, etc. The second part includes commonly used representations for characterizing sound and music signals, e.g., parametric models, spectrograms, mel-frequency cepstral cofficients, chromagrams, and source-filter models. The third part focuses on examples of sound and music analysis tasks, e.g., tuning of musical instruments, transcription of music, key and chord detection, musical structure analysis, and modification of sound and music signals.
- Must be able to understand and describe spectral analysis, parameter estimation, methods for audio decompositions, and filterbanks.
- Must be able to distinguish between pitch, loudness and timbre, and explain how these relate to the various representations.
- Must be able to understand and identify the characteristics of music and sound.
- Must be able to analyze and explain the tools and representation used for a given sound and music analysis task.
- Must be able to select, implement and apply selected methods for analysis of sound and music signals.
- Must be able to evaluate the performance and properties of the selected methods and representations for sound and music analysis.
- Must be able to explain and argue for the assumptions made when using particular tools and representations for sound and music analysis.
- Must be able to discuss and evaluate the appropriateness of various representations for a given sound and musical analysis task.
- Must be able to choose between and judge methods and representations for sound and music analysis.
COURSE: Physical Models for Sound Synthesis
The module gives an in-depth introduction to physical models for sound synthesis,including digital waveguide models, mass-spring systems and finite difference schemes. Students who complete this module will understand how to simulate physics based sound and music systems such as musical instruments and everyday objects.
- Must have knowledge about the numerical methods for sound synthesis
- Must have knowledge about mass-spring systems, digital waveguides and numerical sound synthesis.
- Must be able to understand how to simulate the sound produced by a musical instrument or everyday object.
- Must be able to apply knowledge to the creation of a physics based sound system.
- Must be able to understand how to calculate and model forces of dynamic systems
- Must be able to understand virtual analogue synthesis.
- Must be able to understand how to collaborate within teams designing, building and modelling physical artefacts
- Must be able to synthesize methods for modelling of physical systems and analogies between various dynamic systems such as electronic and acoustics systems
COURSE: Embodied Interaction
The course presents the emerging theory of embodied interaction interleaved with practical implementations of intelligent systems, where the participants work on open-source, community-supported interactive audio-visual coding platforms. The focus of the theoretical part is on embodied mind and cognition, intelligent agents, and movement as design material. These will be centered on emerging literature (e.g., Proc. Intl. Workshop on Movement and Computing: http://moco.ircam.fr).
- Must have knowledge about standard methods and techniques in embodied interaction
- Must be able to understand and describe movement as a design material, and the bodily skills needed for technological development
- Must be able to understand what movement qualities are and how they are extracted from movement tracking data.
- Must be able to apply methods and techniques to real world scenarios (e.g. games, musical performances, public installations, etc.).
- Must be able to analyze a problem, design a solution and translate it into an intelligent embodied system.
- Must be able to synthesize results and concepts in a professional way equivalent to practices in Embodied Interaction.
SMC3: Sound and Music Innovation
Develop and evaluate a novel system that uses concepts and technologies in sound and music computing with a focus on exploring 1) its commercial aspects, and/or 2) its socio-cultural implications, and/or 3) its use in generating scientific knowledge.
- Must be able to understand core state-of-the-art concepts, theories, techniques and methodologies relating to the sub-area of sound and music that has been applied in the project.
- Must be able to synthesize relevant concepts in media commercialization and innovation
- Must be able to apply market and trend analysis methods to a media product or production involving sound and/or music processing
- Must be able to apply sound and music related tools and technologies to create products that are viable from a commercial, socio-cultural, and/or scientific perspective
- Must be able to evaluate and select relevant sound and music theories, methods, and tools, with the specific aim of working towards creating new products, commercially viable products, or new knowledge
COURSE: Research in Sound and Music Computing
The goal of this course is to perform advanced work in one specific area of sound and music computing, building upon the foundations gained in the 1st and 2nd semesters. Students explore state of the art theories and techniques in a formalized manner by analyzing a selection of new research texts in a specific area of sound and music computing through, e.g., critical annotations, paper presentations, reproduction of experiments, etc. Possible areas of research are music information retrieval, music perception and cognition, sonic interaction design, sound and music signal analysis and synthesis and new interfaces for musical expression.
- Must be able to understand theories and principles related to a specific area of sound and music computing.
- Must be able to analyze research papers related to a specific area of sound and music computing.
- Must be able to apply concepts, tools, theories and technologies of sound and music computing to address a specific research problem.
- Must be able to synthesize scientific knowledge in a specific topic in sound and music computing.
SMC4: Master’s Thesis
To document that the student, independently or in a small group, is capable of planning and completing a major research project in sound and music computing. The final thesis must document the student’s ability to apply scientific theories and methods, critically analyze existing work, and synthesize new knowledge.
- Must have knowledge and understanding in one or more subject areas that are representative of the state of the art in the research community of sound and music computing.
- Can understand and, on a scientific basis, apply an area of sound and music computing and identify scientific problems.
- Synthesize scientific methods and tools and general skills related to sound and music computing.
- Can evaluate and select among scientific theories, methods, tools and general skills, and on a scientific basis, advance new analysis methods and solutions in sound and music computing.
- Can synthesize research-based knowledge and discuss professional and scientific problems with both peers and non-specialists.
- Can synthesize work and development situations that are complex, unpredictable and require new solutions.
- Can apply acquired knowledge to independently initiate and implement discipline-specific and interdisciplinary cooperation, and assume professional responsibility.
- Can independently synthesize and take responsibility for their own professional development and specialisation.