NIPS Workshop on Music, Brain and Cognition, Whistler 2007
Music is one of the most widespread of human cultural activities, existing in some form in all cultures throughout the world. The definition of music as organised sound is widely accepted today but a naïve interpretation of this definition may suggest the notion that music exists widely in the animal kingdom, from the rasping of crickets' legs to the songs of the nightingale. However, only in the case of humans does music appear to be surplus to any obvious biological purpose, while at the same time being a strongly learned phenomenon and involving significant higher order cognitive processing rather than eliciting simple hardwired responses.
A two day workshop takes place at NIPS 07 (Whistler, Canada) and spans topics from signal processing and musical structure to the cognition of music and sound. In the first day the workshop provides a forum for cutting edge research addressing the fundamental challenges of modeling the structure of music and analysing its effect on the brain. It also provides a venue for interaction between the machine learning and the neuroscience/brain imaging communities to discuss the broader questions related to modeling the dynamics of brain activity. During the second day the workshop focuses on the modeling of sound, music perception and cognition. These have provide, with the crucial role of machine learning, a break through in various areas of music technology, in particular: Music Information Retrieval (MIR), expressive music synthesis, interactive music making, and sound design.
Understanding of music cognition in its implied top-down processes can help to decide which of the many descriptors in MIR are crucial for the musical experience and which are irrelevant. The target group is of researchers within the fields of (Music) Cognition, Music Technology, Machine Learning, Psychology, Sound Design, Signal Processing and Brain Imaging.
Part 1: Modeling the Structure of Music and its Effect on the Brain
Part 2: Models of Sound and Music Cognition