Music 103: Analysis, Synthesis, Perception and Similarity of Musical Timbre

Professor Michael Casey, Music Department, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA



Time: Tuesday/Thursday 2-4PM, Hallgarten Hall


Assessment: assignments to be set each Tuesday; due by the following Tuesday.




Bibliography (Recommended reading materials)


Analysis / Synthesis


Amatriain, X. Bonada, J. Loscos, A. Serra, X. 2002. "Spectral Processing," Udo Zölzer Ed., DAFX: Digital Audio Effects, p.554 John Wiley & Sons Publishers.


Beauchamp, J. and Horner, A. "Spectral modelling and timbre hybridisation programs for computer music"- Organised Sound, 2001


Karplus, K., and Strong, A., "Digital Synthesis of Plucked-String and Drum Timbres",
Computer Music Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Summer, 1983), pp. 43-55


Mathews, Max V., The technology of computer music, Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1969.


G De Poli, P Prandoni, "Sonological models for timbre characterization", Journal of New Music Research, 1997


Risset, J.C and Mathews, M.V.(1969). "Analysis of musical instrument tones," Physics Today 22, pp. 23-40.


Risset, Jean-Claude., "An introductory catalogue of computer synthesized sounds, by J.C. Risset.", Bell Telephone Laboratories tech. Report, Murray Hill, N.J.,1971.


Serra, X. 1997. "Musical Sound Modeling with Sinusoids plus Noise," G. D. Poli, A. Picialli, S. T. Pope, and C. Roads Ed., Musical Signal Processing, p. Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers.

Serra, X. Bonada, J. 1998. "Sound Transformations Based on the SMS High Level Attributes," Proceedings of International Conference on Digital Audio Effects 1998; Barcelona, Spain.

Sullivan, C.R., "Extending the Karplus-Strong Algorithm to Synthesize Electric Guitar Timbres with Distortion and Feedback", Computer Music Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 26-37, 1990.


Telleman, E., Haken, L., Holloway, B., "Timbre morphing of sounds with unequal numbers of features,"  Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (J. Audio Eng. Soc.), 1995, vol. 43, no9, pp. 678-689 (20 ref.)


Tetsuro Kitahara,† Masataka Goto,‡ Kazunori Komatani,† Tetsuya Ogata† and Hiroshi G. Okuno†, "Instrument Identification in Polyphonic Music", Proc. ISMIR 2005, London, UK.


Timbre and Composition 


Boulez, Pierre, "Timbre and composition: timbre and language", 1987, Contemporary Music Review, 2:1, pp. 161-172.


Casey, M. and Grierson, M. "Soundspotter and Remix-TV: fast approximation matching for audio-visual performance", Proc. ICMC, 2008.


Emmerson, S. (Ed.), The Language of Electroacoustic Music. London, Macmillan, 1986.


Emmerson, S. (Ed.), "Timbre Composition in Electroacoustic Music: Papers from the Third Science and Music Conference" Contemporary Music Review 10(2), 1994


Smalley, D. "Spectromorphology: Explaining sound-shapes", Organised Sound: Vol. 2, no. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 107-126.


Smalley, D. "Defining timbre — Refining timbre", Contemporary Music Review, Volume 10, Number 2, 1994 , pp. 35-48(14)


Trevor Wishart, On Sonic Art, Imagineering Press, 1985.


Music Information Retrieval


Aucouturier, J.-J. Pachet, F. Sandler, M. "The way it Sounds": timbre models for analysis and retrieval of music signals, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia.


Casey, M., Veltkamp, R, Goto, M., Rhodes, C. and Slaney, M. "Content-based Music Information Retrieval: current directions and future challanges", in Proceedings of the IEEE, April 2008.


Casey, M. and Slaney, M. "The importance of sequences in musical similarity", in Proc. IEEE ICASSP, Toulouse, France, 2005.


Dannenberg R. "Music Representation Issues, Techniques, and Systems" Computer Music Journal, 1993 - JSTOR


Elias Pampalk, Simon Dixon and Gerhard Widmer, "ON THE EVALUATION OF PERCEPTUAL SIMILARITY MEASURES FOR MUSIC", Proc. of the 6th Int. Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-03), London, UK, September 8-11, 2003


A. Eronen, "Automatic Musical Instrument Recognition", Master of Science Thesis, Department of Information Technology, Tampere University of Technology, 2001.


Logan, B. "Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients for Music Modeling" International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval, 2000.


Keith D. Martin, Youngmoo E. Kim, "Musical instrument identification: A pattern-recognition approach (1998)", Proc. 136 th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, 1998.


Geoffroy Peeters, Amaury La Burthe, Xavier Rodet, "Toward Automatic Music Audio Summary Generation from Signal Analysis", Proc. ISMIR 2002, Paris, France.



Perception and Cognition


Grey, J. M. "Multidimensional perceptual scaling of musical timbres", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America -- May 1977 -- Volume 61, Issue 5, pp. 1270-1277


Handel, S. "Listening: an introduction to the perception of auditory events / Stephen Handel", Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1993


Helmholtz, H.-von, On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music, London : Longmans, Green, and Co., 1875.


Paul Iverson and Carol L. Krumhansl, "Isolating the dynamic attributes of musical timbre", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America -- November 1993 -- Volume 94, Issue 5, pp. 2595-2603


Krumhansl CL, Iverson P., "Perceptual interactions between musical pitch and timbre.", J Exp 

Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1992 Aug;18(3):739-51.


Stephen McAdams, Suzanne Winsberg, Sophie Donnadieu, Geert De Soete and Jochen Krimphoff, "Perceptual scaling of synthesized musical timbres: Common dimensions, specificities, and latent subject classes", Psychological Research, Volume 58, Number 3 / December, 1995, pp. 177-192


H Platel, C Price, JC Baron, R Wise, J Lambert, RS Frackowiak, B Lechevalier and F Eustache, "The structural components of music perception. A functional anatomical study", Brain, Vol 120, Issue 2 229-243, Copyright © 1997 by Oxford University Press


ED Scheirer "Bregman’s chimerae: Music perception as auditory scene analysis" . International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, 1996