Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Docente Sarti Augusto
Cfu 5.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare
Didattica innovativa L'insegnamento prevede  1.0  CFU erogati con Didattica Innovativa come segue:
  • Blended Learning & Flipped Classroom

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

Computer Music is a modern discipline that covers a wide range of topics in the area of Music and Acoustic Engineering, including computing platforms for music processing, music representation and languages,  music information retrieval, and music production technologies. "Computer Music, Representations and Models" is the first of two courses that cover such topics, with specific reference to music perception, cognition, representation and modeling. This course begins with an introduction to sound and music perception, as well as an overview of music cognition. Then it delves deeper into the various components of music: rhythm, harmony, melodic line and patterns, structure, prosody and expression, with the specific purpose of helping the student to build the necessary awareness for developing music-oriented applications. For each one of such components, it discusses the differences across cultures; the related rules that are customarily followed for music composition and performance; how such rules can be turned into mathematical models and generative algorithms. It then discusses the tools that can be developed starting from such models, for applications of music composition, performance and production.

In addition to traditional lectures, the course includes presentations, clinics and workshops from music experts.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Students will be able to understand and model the basic concepts that characterize the various conceptual layers of music (rhythmic, harmonic, tonal/melodic, structural and prosodic/expressive) in a quantitative fashion. This knowledge will allow them to develop a deeper awareness of musical content, and develop better applications and algorithms in the area of music composition, performance and production. 

Argomenti trattati

Part 1: Sound and Music perception

  • Perception of Sound and Acoustics: acoustic phenomena and related physical descriptors; the human auditory system and the perception of sound. Subjective descriptors of individual sounds: loudness and pitch. Perception of simultaneous tones: musical beats, masking phenomena, etc. Perception of space: room acoustic response and its descriptors; role of early reflection in perception of space; perceptual phenomena in spatial sound: spatial masking, cross-modal phenomena; etc.
  • Perception of Music: psychological functions of music; anticipation; categorization; music, emotion and the reptilian brain; developing expertise in music; music appretiation and the sense of pleasure; the music instinct.

Part 2: Elements of Music Cognition

  • Music and evolution; musical scales and tonality; finding the musical key; melodic organization; musical expectancy; time, rhythm, and meter; musical performance; musical aesthetics and emotion; neurological aspects of music perception and performance; neural correlates of music perception; event perception; musical systems.

Part 3: Music Representations and Models

  • Representations and models: rhythm
    • Instrumental influences: drumming, percussions, tonal vs. non-tonal percussive instruments.
    • Representations: beat; periodicity and multiple periodicities; alternation; composite rhythms; tempo, signature and metric structure; poly-rhythms; cross-rhythms; polymetric structures; notation.
    • Models: tempo estimator; beat tracker; beat follower; looper (single- and multi-track); influence of rhythmic structure on software and interfaces: structure of timeline; recursion; interfaces; etc.
  • Representations and models: harmony
    • Instrumental influences: “ionian” keyboard; translation-invariant (exatonal) keyboard; the Stradella bass system in aerophones (circle of fifths); fingerboards in stringed instruments; etc.
    • Representations: combining simultaneous notes (dyads, triads, quadriads and double triads); colors and tensions; modal scales and chords. Building harmonic progressions (elements of functional harmony): the circle of fifths; cadenzas; turnarounds; resolutions and harmonic expectation; principles of harmonic substitution and the complexity tree. Creating harmonic surprise: the deceiving cadenza; progressions that do not rely on cadenzas (modal jazz).
    • Models: tonal features and harmonic descriptors; interval estimation; chord estimation; modal scale estimation; harmonizer; harmonic follower. Harmonic progressions in popular music: a machine learning perspective.
  • Representations and models: patterns, melodic line and counterpoint
    • Instrumental influences: lead instruments and their role; building patterns with keyboards; building patterns on fretboards; principles of improvisation; tonal and timbral control; interaction techniques and musical conversation;
    • Representations: from cantus firmus to melody: general rules; ground rules of counterpoint (from first to fifth species); basics of harmonization.
    • Models: intra-scale tonal distance; pattern generation and intra-scale periodicity; pattern generation (interfaces and pattern-generation software); pattern-to-harmony conversion; virtual improvisation; melodic continuation; etc.
  • Representations and models: structure and organization
    • Cultural influences: structures in classical music (symphony, concerto, sonata, etc.); in western music (pop song, ballad, …); structural organization of music in some non-western cultures.
    • Representations, models, and organization: structural representations in music; structural features; feature-based structural segmentation; structural organization of music in digital audio production software, hierarchical organization of music.
  • Representations and models: prosody and expression
    • Instrumental influences: timbral expression in lead instruments; acoustic expression in lead instruments; instrumental ranges and timbral optimization.
    • Representations and models: prosodic modulation and trajectories; emotional modulation and trajectories; emotional and prosodic expectancy. Controlling the exchange between evocative/emotional potential and kinetic energy (loading and discharging). Expression control and automation in music production software. Expressive controllers and interfaces. Exploiting the acoustics.




A certain familiarity with elementary music theory would be helpful but is not considered mandatory. We recommend attending "Advanced coding tools and methodologies" simultaneously with this course.


Modalità di valutazione

The course will be evaluated based on a written test and a mandatory project. Some of the project work will be done in specific course workshops. The final grade will be computed as a weighted average of the achieved grades in these two parts of the exam.


Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 50:00 75:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese
schedaincarico v. 1.6.6 / 1.6.6
Area Servizi ICT