The Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA


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Music Information Retrieval from a Multicultural Perspective

April 3, 2015 @ 3:00 pm


Professor Xavier Serra
Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona, Spain

Studio Xenakis
Music Building, room 2215

Music is a universal phenomenon that manifests itself in every cultural context with a particular personality and the technologies supporting music have to take into account the specificities that every musical culture might have. This is particularly evident in the field of Music Information Retrieval, in which we aim at developing technologies to analyse, describe and explore any type of music. From this perspective we started the project CompMusic ( in which we focus on a number of MIR problems through the study of five music cultures: Hindustani (North India), Carnatic (South India), Turkish-makam (Turkey), Arab-Andalusian (Maghreb), and Beijing Opera (China). We work on the extraction of musically relevant features from audio music recordings related to melody and rhythm, and on the semantic analysis of the contextual information of those recordings.

In this talk I will do an overview of CompMusic and also briefly mention other research projects being carried out at the Music Technology Group of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona that relate to the analysis, description and synthesis of sound and music signals.

Xavier Serra is Associate Professor of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies and Director of the Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. After a multidisciplinary academic education he obtained a PhD in Computer Music from Stanford University in 1989 with a dissertation on the spectral processing of musical sounds that is considered a key reference in the field. His research interests cover the analysis, description and synthesis of sound and music signals, with a balance between basic and applied research and approaches from both scientific/technological and humanistic/artistic disciplines. Dr. Serra is very active in promoting initiatives in the field of Sound and Music Computing at the local and international levels, being involved in the editorial board of a number of journals and conferences and giving lectures on current and future challenges of the field. He has recently been awarded an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council to carry out the project CompMusic aimed at promoting multicultural approaches in music computing research.

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