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Lisa Herrmann
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2008

IU music informatics professor receives $450,000 National Science Foundation grant

Project will create a computer program that understands the "language" of musical conducting through video

Sept. 15, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University music informatics professor Chris Raphael has received a three-year, $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his proposal titled, "Real-Time Planning of a Conductable Orchestra."

The project involves creating a computer program that understands the gestural language of musical conducting through video. In real time, the program will create audio for the ensemble that is being led by the live conductor. Working on the project with Raphael is John Poole, a senior lecturer specializing in conducting in IU's Jacobs School of Music.

The culmination of this project will be a computer system that has the ability to run on generic computer hardware and can be made readily available.

One of the key parts of the grant includes funds to purchase a reproducing Bosendorfer piano that collects precise information about the key and pedal movements of the pianist. This piano will allow the researchers to measure, analyze and reproduce a performance.

"This project will chart a path where both music and science can flourish," Raphael said. "A successful conducting system such as we hope to develop will bring the pleasure of music-making to a broad audience who otherwise would have no experience creating music."

About the IU School of Informatics

Founded in 2000 as the first school of its kind in the United States, the IU School of Informatics is dedicated to research and teaching across a broad range of computing and information technology, with emphases on science, applications and societal implications. The school includes the Departments of Computer Science and Informatics on the Bloomington campus and Informatics on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The school administers a variety of bachelor and masters degree programs in computer science and informatics, as well as doctorate programs in computer science and the first-ever doctorate in informatics. The school is dedicated to excellence in education and research, to partnerships that bolster economic development and entrepreneurship and to increasing opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in computing and technology. For more information, visit