Lecture: Music Processing Analysis, Winter Term 2014/2015

Past course
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01_MusicRepr_Teaser 02_FourierTr_Teaser 03_MusicSync_Teaser2 04_AudioStru_Teaser 06_Teaser_BeatTempo 07_Teaser_AudioRetr
  • Instructor: Prof. Dr. Meinard Müller
  • Tutor: Jonathan Driedger
  • Time: Winter Term 2014/2015, Mo 16-18:00
  • Place: Am Wolfsmantel 33, Erlangen-Tennenlohe, Room 3R4.04
  • Format: Lecture
  • Credits:
    • 2,5 ECTS
    • 5 ECTS with Exercises (only for Computer Science Students)
  • Exam (graded): Oral examination at the end of term
  • Flyer: PDF


The lecture has the following format:

  • First Meeting: Mo 13.10.2014 (16:00 - 18:00, Room 3R4.04)
  • Every meeting consists of 90 minutes
  • There will be additional exercises. Details will be announced later.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Meinard Müller.


Music signals possess specific acoustic and structural characteristics that are not shared by spoken language or audio signals from other domains. In fact, many music analysis tasks only become feasible by exploiting suitable music-specific assumptions. In this course, we study feature design principles that have been applied to music signals to account for the music-specific aspects. In particular, we discuss various musically expressive feature representations that refer to musical dimensions such as harmony, rhythm, timbre, or melody. Furthermore, we highlight the practical and musical relevance of these feature representations in the context of current music analysis and retrieval tasks. Here, our general goal is to show how the development of music-specific signal processing techniques is of fundamental importance for tackling otherwise infeasible music analysis problems.

The following video gives a brief impression about this course.

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Course requirements

In this course, we discuss a number of current research problems in music processing or music information retrieval (MIR) covering aspects from information science and digital signal processing. We provide the necessary background information and give numerous motivating examples so that no specialized knowledge is required. However, the students should have a solid mathematical background. The lecture is accompanied by readings from textbooks or the research literature. Furthermore, the students are required to experiment with the presented algorithms using MATLAB.


The general area of Music Processing covers a wide range of subfields and tasks such as music anaylsis, music synthesis, music information retrieval, computer music composition, performance analysis, or audio coding not to speak from close connections to other disciplines such as musicology or library sciences. In this course, we present a selection of topics with an emphasis on music analysis and retrieval.

The course "Music Processing - Analysis" is closely related to the course "Music Processing - Synthesis" by Prof. Rudolf Rabenstein. The two courses complement each other, but can also be taken separately.

Aspects related to music processing are covered in the following lectures:

Course material


Meinard Müller
Information Retrieval for Music and Motion
ISBN: 978-3-540-74047-6, Springer

  • Practical exercises (ZIP)
  • Further material (password protected) can be found here.

Exercises (for Computer Science Students)

  • Reading assignment: Chapter 1
  • Reading assignment: Section 2.1 of Chapter 2
  • Exercises 1.1 to Exercises 1.12 of Chapter 1.
  • Exercises 2.1 to Exercises 2.8 of Chapter 2.
    The reading assignments and exercises are due to 10.11.2014. Each group has to hand in a handwritten solution of all exercises in the meeting on 10.11.2014 from 14:15 to 16:00 (before the lecture, same room). Please be prepared to ask questions in this meeting about the lecture and the exercises.
  • Practical exercises (ZIP)
    Responsible for the practical exercises is Jonathan Driedger.

    The practical exercises are due to 04.12.2014. Each group has to hand in solutions and MATLAB implementations of the exercises, which are to be presented in the meeting on 08.12.2014 from 14:15 to 16:00 (before the lecture, same room). For questions please contact Jonathan Driedger.

  • Reading assignment (selected book chapter): Book
    Each group has to hand in a summary of the assigned book chapter as a PDF until 12.01.2015. Please send the PDF via e-mail to Prof. Dr. Meinard Müller and Jonathan Driedger.

    Latex sources for the summary's template (with additional explanations) can be found here: ZIP


  • Introduction: Beethoven, Bach, and Billions of Bytes
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)
  • Music Representations
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)
  • Audio Features (Fourier Transform, Spectrogram, Pitch, Chroma)
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)
  • Music Synchronization (Dynamic Time Warping)
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)
  • Music Structure Analysis
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)
  • Tempo and Beat Tracking
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)
  • Audio Retrieval
    Slides (PDF), Handouts (6 slides per page) (PDF)