Wednesday 17.02.2016
14:00 — 16:00
Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik

IDEA lectures with Meinard Müller
Beethoven, Bach, and Billions of Bytes - Music meets Computer Science

Meinard Müller studied mathematics (Diplom) and computer science (Ph.D.) at the University of Bonn, Germany. In 2002/2003, he conducted postdoctoral research in combinatorics at the Mathematical Department of Keio University, Japan. In 2007, he finished his Habilitation at Bonn University in the field of multimedia retrieval writing a book titled "Information Retrieval for Music and Motion" (Springer). From 2007 to 2012, he was a member of the Saarland University and the Max-Planck Institut für Informatik leading the research group "Multimedia Information Retrieval and Music Processing" within the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction. Since September 2012, Meinard Müller holds a professorship for Semantic Audio Processing at the International Audio Laboratories Erlangen, which is a joint institution of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS. His recent research interests include music processing, audio signal processing, music information retrieval, and motion processing. Besides numerous research articles, Meinard Müller has written a comprehensive textbook titled "Fundamentals of Music Processing" (Springer,, which appeared in 2015.

Abstract: Significant digitization efforts have resulted in large music collections, which comprise music-related documents of various types and formats including text, symbolic data, audio, image, and video. For example, in the case of an opera there typically exist digitized versions of the libretto, different editions of the musical score, as well as a large number of performances given as audio and video recordings.  In the field of music information retrieval (MIR) great efforts are directed towards the development of technologies that allow users to access and explore music in all its different facets. For example, during playback of some CD recording, a digital music player may present the corresponding musical score while highlighting the current playback position within the score. On demand, additional information about melodic and harmonic progression or rhythm and tempo is automatically presented to the listener. A suitable user interface displays the musical structure of the current piece of music and allows the user to directly jump to any key part within the recording without tedious fast-forwarding and rewinding. Furthermore, the listener is equipped with a Google-like search engine that enables him to explore the entire music collection in various ways: the user creates a query by specifying a certain note constellation, some harmonic progression, or rhythmic patterns, by whistling a melody, or simply by selecting a short passage from a CD recording; the system then provides the user with a ranked list of available music excerpts from the collection that are musically related to the query. In this talk, I provide an overview of a number of current research problems in the field of music information retrieval and indicate possible solutions. Furthermore, I want to discuss to which extent computer-based methods may help users to better access and explore music in all its different facets.


Meinard Müller: Fundamentals of Music Processing - Audio, Analysis, Algorithms, Applications.483 pages, ISBN: 978-3-319-21944-8, Springer, 2015

The IDEA Lectures (Interdisciplinary Debates on the Empirical Aesthetics of Music) aim at bringing together internationally well-known researchers who discuss questions that relate to the production and reception of music from various perspectives.

Musicologists from all branches of their discipline take part as do musicians, psychologists, cognitive scientists, sociologists, philosophers and ethnologists.

External guests are welcome. Please call for registration 069 8300 479-201.