Doctoral Colloquium (Music): Gary Scavone (Associate Professor, Schulich School of Music)


Strathcona Music Building Room C-201, 555 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 1E3, CA

The Doctoral Colloquium is open to all.

Doctoral students (Music) for whom attendance is required must sign the attendance sheet at the colloquium.


Musical Acoustics Research

Why do reeds wear out? Can musical instruments be better designed to improve intonation or response? Should you choose metal or plastic pad resonators? Is that $6M Stradivarius violin really worth it?

This presentation will provide an overview of recent and ongoing musical acoustics research being conducted in the Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory (CAML), which is part of the Music Technology Area in the Schulich School of Music, McGill University. CAML research can be roughly organized into three categories: 1. Physics-based modeling for sound synthesis and/or computer-aided instrument design; 2. Measurements for the analysis of instrument behaviour or extraction of model parameters; and 3. Perceptual experiments to assess player discrimination or the importance of instrument features / qualities. Specific lab projects to be discussed will include woodwind tonehole modeling, woodwind reed consistency and aging, saxophone pad material evaluations, the perception of violin qualities, industrial collaborations with D’Addario, Godin Guitars, Applied Acoustics and Légére Reeds, and a recently funded project to “resurrect” Stradivari’s Messiah violin.

Disclosure: No mathematical symbols will be used or otherwise harmed in this presentation.

Dr. Gary Scavone is an Associate Professor of Music Technology in the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, where he directs the Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory. He received PhD and MSc degrees (Music and Electrical Engineering) from Stanford University and BSc and BA degrees (Electrical Engineering and Music) from Syracuse University. From 1997-2003, he was Technical Director and Research Associate at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. His research includes acoustic modeling, analysis, and synthesis of musical systems and sound synthesis software development. Dr. Scavone is also a professional saxophonist specializing in the performance of contemporary concert music.