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Acoustics, computer science, music

Code: S1716, ECTS: 1


The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to basic tools for grasping the methods of sound analysis and synthesis. These notions are a prerequisite for an overall understanding of developments in musical theories and instruments and provide an indispensable initiation to current electro-acoustical techniques.

The course will comprise traditional presentations for describing fundamental results, with sound illustrations, and will also include a lecture by a composer together with a presentation and an analysis of a leading contemporary musical work by an expert. Lastly, students will be offered subjects for practical work to be conducted in pairs under the supervision of research academics from ENSMP and other institutions (ENPC, IRCAM, Telecom Paris, etc.).


  1. Sound, an overview
  2. Music and mathematics
  3. The computer tool: evolution of musical forms
  4. Sound in physical terms
  5. Sound in digital terms
  6. The computer tool: evolution of musical instruments
  7. Overview of sound synthesis
Examples of subjects for practicals on PC:
  • Listening to the pythagorician and tempered scales
  • Comparison of sounds of real instruments and additive synthesis (example of “quintoyants” instruments)
  • Automatic programming in MusixTex of a short composition on the basis of a 12-note series (retrograde and inverted series)
  • Implementation of digital and distortion filters
  • Modelling of a clarinette mouthpiece by a non-linear Chua circuit
  • Implementation of a programme whereby a frequency transposition can be achieved of an entry signal with the same duration
  • Synthesis and algorithmic transformations of MIDI musical flows via API Java Sound.

Teaching team


Teaching staff

Karim BARKATI ; Samuel BENVENISTE ; Sébastien BOISGERAULT ; Tifanie BOUCHARA ; René CAUSSE ; Marc COPPEY ; Matthias DEMOUCRON ; Mathieu GALTIER ; Fabrice GREGORUTTI ; Guillaume JEULIN ; Pierre JOUVELOT ; Artemis LLAMOSI ; Benoît MENUT ; Rémi MIGNOT
Code S1716
Year 3rd year
Level Graduate 2nd year
ECTS Credits 1
Coefficient 1
Nb. of hours 12
Nb. of lessons 10
Course type Specialized courses
Semester 6
Period Spring
  • Mathématiques
  • Informatique
Last update:
10 Dec 2010 14:34 by DanielL