Masters in Digital Musics: Deadline Feb. 1st 2015

We seek outstanding students for our 2-year Masters in Digital Musics at Dartmouth. This fully-funded program (tuition plus stipend) encourages interdisciplinary research and creative production at the intersection of digital music composition/performance, sonic and audiovisual arts, computer science and engineering, and music cognition and neuroscience.

Applications must be received by February 1st 2015.
Application requirements, online application form
Graduate Studies at Dartmouth

Andy Sarroff Discusses Groove Kernels at ISMIR 2013

Andy Sarroff attended the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference in Curitiba, Brazil to present a poster on Sarroff’s and Casey’s paper, “Groove Kernels as Rhythmic-Acoustic Motif Descriptors”. Groove Kernels are tempo-invariant spectral-temporal descriptors that characterize salient rhythmic motifs in music. For more information, see the paper or poster (links embedded below).


Sarroff, A.M. and Casey, M. Groove Kernels as Rhythmic-Acoustic Motif Descriptors. In Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2013), Curitiba, Brazil. November, 2013.

ISMIR2013 Poster

Andy Sarroff Presents Operating System Sonification at CMMR2013

Two members of the Bregman Research Studio presented papers at the The 10th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR2013) held in Marseille, France. (See Jianyu’s post below.)

Andy Sarroff presented a couple of demos for a Python-based message dispatcher that allows direct sonification or audification of virtually any event executed by a Unix-like operating system. The code is open-sourced and available on Github. Interested parties are encouraged to download the source and share their own OS sonification scripts. For more details on the work, the proceedings paper may be found here.

Sarroff, A.M. Hermans, P., and Bratus, S. SOS: Sonify Your Operating System. In Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR 2013), Marseilles, France. October, 2013.
Sarroff CMMR2013 Poster

Study of Chinese and UK Hit Song Prediction (CMMR) 2013


The top 40 chart is a popular resource used by listeners to select and purchase music. Previous work on automatic hit song prediction focused on Western pop music. However, pop songs from different parts of the world exhibit significant differences. We performed experiments on hit song prediction using 40 weeks of data from Chinese and UK pop music charts. We used a set of ten common audio features with a time-weighted linear regression model and a support vector machine model to predict whether a new song will be a top hit or a non-hit. Then we report on the features that performed best for predicting hit songs for both the Chinese and UK pop charts. Our results indicate that Chinese hit song prediction is more accurate than the UK version of the experiment. We conclude that the audio feature characteristics of Chinese hit songs are significantly different from those of UK hit songs. The results of our work can be used to inform how music information retrieval systems are designed for pop music from different musical cultures.

My poster is here. For more information, please go to CMMR2013.

CONFLUENCE Remote Network Mic at HAMR-in-the-Woods

Project Description

Confluence is a live remote soundscape project that uses a prototype Network Microphone to stream audio from remote locations with no local Internet connection. The project was created at HAMR-in-the-Woods at Dartmouth by Mike Casey with sound artist Anastasya Koshkin.

The Network Microphone sends live audio over an ISM-band radio link to an Internet base station up to 25 miles away. The stream currently operates at 44.1kHz Mono with 96kbps Vorbis encoding and streams live to the Internet.


The target location for the Remote Network Mic is the Second College Grant which is a 45 square mile protected region of Northern New Hampshire owned by Dartmouth College with a population of 0. There is a Confluence of three rivers that meet at a waterfall cascade in this region where the remote Network Microphone will be deployed.

More details at the Confluence Web page

Dartmouth Hosts HAMR-in-the Woods

The Bregman Music and Audio Research Studio and the Neukom Institute are pleased to announce the first-ever Dartmouth College music and audio hackathon taking place September 27–29. HAMR (Hacking Audio and Music Research) differs from traditional hackathons in that it will be located against a peaceful rural backdrop approximately 8 miles outside of Dartmouth College and explicitly avoids corporate sponsorship.

Dartmouth’s HAMR-in-the-Woods includes lodging and meals. There will be fun outdoor and evening activities interwoven to break up the coding. This event is open to undergraduate and graduate students from within and outside of Dartmouth College. It will be a great means to make new friends with others who are interested in the intersection of music, computer science, and engineering. If you think you are interested but feel you might not have enough experience, please do not be shy. Hackathons are also about learning from one another.

Registration is required for participation and we expect registered attendees to partake in the full event. (Overnight stay is optional but you must indicate your preference on the registration site.) Please visit the HAMR website for more information. Questions? Please email Andy Sarroff. You may also find June’s HAMR (hosted by Columbia University) useful.

Song and Sound: New Music @ Dartmouth 2012

celebrationofMusicDartmouth Poster


Join us next week for the 34th annual Celebration of Music at Dartmouth: Song and Sound, presented by the Department of Music, with our guestensemble-in-residence Callithumpian Consort. Programs also feature performers and composers from the Dartmouth College community. All events are free and open to the public.

Capturing Resonance by Soo “Sunny” Park and Spencer Topel

Digital Musics Spencer Topel and affiliate faculty member Soo Sunny Park present the year-long PLATFORM 8 installation Capturing Resonance at the deCordova Museum Saturday, February 4th from 2 – 3PM. They will discuss their collaboration over the summer, including their process, inspiration, and implementation.

Bregman Lab to Host NEMISIG Jan 27th-28th 2012

The Northeast Music Informatics Special Interest Group workshop brings together graduate students and faculty in the Northeast USA working on music, information, and computation.

In January 2012, the workshop is being hosted by Dartmouth’s Bregman Lab, with generous support from the Neukom Institute for Computational Science

Bregman Lab at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) 2011

Bregman Studio graduate students Jessica Thompson, Andy Sarroff, Qinguan Kong, and Spencer Topel, co-authored two submissions at this year’s Neural Information Processing Systems workshops in Granada, Spain.

Casey, M., Thompson, J., Kang, O., and Wheatley, T., “Timbre Population Codes for High-Level Categorization of Music”, Neural Information Processing Systems, Workshop on Machine Learning and Interpretation of Neuroimaging, Granada, Spain, December, 2011.

Kong, Q., Sarroff, A., Topel, S., and Casey, M., “Getting Into the Groove with Hierarchical Independent Component Analysis”, Neural Information Processing Systems, Workshop on Machine Learning and Music Processing, Granada, Spain, December, 2011.

Bregman Lab at International Society for Music Information Retrieval

The six graduate students in the Bregman Masters program, and two Ph.D. students, will be attending ISMIR 2011 in Miami. Our students will present a total of 3 posters and 3 music works at the conference. Good luck, see you in Miami.

Bregman’s papers include:

  • Alison Mattek GR and Michael Casey “Cross-Modal Aesthetics from A Feature Extraction Perspective: A Pilot Study”
  • Spencer S. Topel GR and Michael A. Casey “Elementary Sources: Latent Component Analysis for Music Composition”
  • Jessica Thompson GR will present a late breaking Demo.
  • Alex Dupuis, David Kant, and Spencer Topel have music works on the ISMIR concert.

See the ISMIR 2011 Web Site for more information, and to get PDFs of our papers.

Digital Musics Group, Green Orpheus, Performs at FUEL

Green Orpheus consists of all six of the graduate students in the digital music department: David Kant GR’12, Alex Dupuis GR’12, Alison Mattek GR’12, Ryan Maguire GR’13, Phillip Hermans GR’13 and Jessica Thompson GR’13.

The group plans to perform in various campus venues in the coming months, including One Wheelock and the Hopkins Center, but their most ambitious plan involves utilizing the Baker Tower bells in the spring.

Full story

Bregman receives NEH Digital Humanities Award for Computational Cinematics

Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH 03755)
Professor Michael A. Casey, Department of Music, Department of Computer Science
Professor Mark Williams, Department of Film and Media Studies

ACTION (Audio-visual Cinematic Toolbox for Interaction, Organization, and Navigation): an open-source Python platform

The development of a platform that would support the computational analysis of film and other audio-video materials. The platform would allow such features as the automatic detection of shots and scenes, the analysis of soundtracks, and overall content analysis.

Digital Musics CS Ph.D. Student, Andy Sarroff, Receives Neukom Fellowship

Digital Musics CS Ph.D. Student, Andy Sarroff, is the recipient of a fellowship from the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College. Andy will be working on the Search-By-Groove project, which is co-sponsored by Google Inc via a Faculty Research Award to Professor Michael Casey.

Congrats to Our Two New Masters Graduates

Congratulations from everyone at Dartmouth Digital Musics to Josh Hudelson (‘09) and Alex Wroten (‘09), who graduated from the program this past Sunday, June 12th, 2011.  We wish you the best in your future endeavors and enjoyed having you with us these past two years.

To find out more about their work:

Joshua Hudelson:

Alex Wroten:

Michael Casey and BMARS Awarded Grant from Google

Shown here from left to right, Professor Michael Casey, Lecturer and Technical Director Spencer Topel, and and computer science PhD students Qingyuan Kong and Andy Sarroff. (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Digital Musics director Michael Casey and researchers from the Bregman Music and Audio Research Studio (BMARS) is named as the recipient of a Faculty Research Award from Google Inc, for the project “Search by Groove”, a project spanning several years at the studio aimed at creating a new search engine to find music tracks with similar rhythmic backgrounds in large audio databases.

Click here to read more about this story.

Graduate Student presents at NIME 2011

Digital Musics student Alexander Dupuis premiered his piece All Hail the Dawn this May at the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference in Oslo, Norway. The piece is an interactive audiovisual feedback loop mediated by a custom-built photosensitive oscillator instrument. Documentation of the piece can be viewed here.

Digital Musics at Receiver Festival 2011

The New Music Collective of Charleston, SC performed pieces by Digital Musics graduate student David Kant and Professor Larry Polansky at the closing concert of Receiver Time-Based Media Festival. Devoted to the presentation of art that invokes time, Receiver Festival 2011 occurred March 10th-13th in downtown Charleston, and featured over twenty artists from across the United States and Canada. Performances, video screenings, installations and kinetic sculptures were scattered at public venues throughout the city. The closing concert by the New Music Collective occurred March 13th and also featured works by Alvin Lucier, Jason Brogan, G. Douglas Barrett and John Lely.

Winter Premieres of Music by Kui Dong

Picture of Kui Dong

Dartmouth Music Department Faculty member Kui Dong’s “Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter” will receive its east coast premiere at The Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art: the National Museums of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. on February 19, 2011.

Kui Dong’s other recent accolades include a new CD released February 8th on OtherMinds Records entitled “Since When Has The Bright Moon Existed” featuring works written over the past five years.

Upcoming events include the premiere of ”Painted Lights” for mixed chorus and children’s chorus by the prestigious vocal group Volti and the Piedmont Children’s Choir  in San Francisco and Berkeley, CA, March 4, 5, and 6, 2011

Graduate Student presents at SEAMUS 2011

Graduate student Alison Mattek presented a paper at the 26th Annual Conference of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) last month in Coral Gables, FL. Her paper is entitled “Emotional Communication in Computer Generated Music: Experimenting with Affective Algorithms.” The full paper can be downloaded here.

The conference was co-chaired by Digital Musics alumnus, Colby Leider, and his wife Christine. Also in attendance was former Digital Musics student, Bruno Riviaro and former program director, Jon Appleton.