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Joe Stuteville
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Monday, February 19, 2007

Informatics Philharmonic: Beethoven, Sibelius and Music Plus One

February 19, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Begin with violinists. Then, bring in a computerized musical accompaniment program. It all adds up to a unique blend of classical music.

Christopher Raphael

Christopher Raphael

Print-Quality Photo

Christopher Raphael, associate professor at the Indiana University School of Informatics, will share center stage with Mimi Zweig, professor at the Jacobs School of Music. They're appearing together in Informatics Philharmonic at 3 p.m., Saturday (Feb. 24) at the Sweeney Lecture Hall in the Simon Music Center.

Raphael is the creator of Music Plus One, a sophisticated computerized instrumental accompaniment program that responds in real time to a soloist's tempo changes and other expressive gestures. The accompaniment is drawn from recorded past rehearsals from, say, a concerto or sonata. As the musician plays, the accompanying music is synthesized through an audio recording.

Zweig teaches violin, string pedagogy and heads the IU String Academy. She's also a former member of the American Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Orchestra, Piedmont Chamber Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

The concert features Yoo-jin Cho and Thomas Rodgers, who will play movements from the violin concertos of Ludwig Van Beethoven and Jan Sibelius. They will be accompanied by Raphael's Music Plus One "orchestra." Raphael, who once played for the Santa Cruz (California) Symphony, also will perform on the oboe.

MPO makes advances on a long-time popular training record called Music Minus One where a student plays a missing solo part with the recording supplying the instrumental accompaniment.

"MPO adds to a soloist's experience by providing a responsive and nuanced accompaniment rather than subtracting from it by imposing a rigid framework that stifles musical expression," said Raphael.

"I believe these accompaniment systems will someday be as commonplace in the musician's toolbox as the metronome and tuner -- but much more appreciated," said Raphael.

Raphael is the subject of a 30-minute profile and will demonstrate Music Plus One at 8 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 22) on WTIU, IU Bloomington's public television station.

To listen to sampled audio records of Music Plus One, go to

Informatics Philharmonic is part of ArtsWeek 2007, the annual IU-Bloomington celebration of the arts, Feb. 21-March 3.