Who We Are
Christopher Raphael is an Associate Professor in the School of Informatics and Indiana University, Bloomington where he heads the Music Informatics program. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and was formerly and Associate Professor in the department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University. of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research focuses on a wide range of music understanding and recognition problems combining probabilistic graphical models and machine learning including musical accompaniment systems, music recognition and analysis.
As a former professional oboist he won the San Francisco Symphony Young Artist Competition and soloed with the San Francisco Symphony in 1978. He has held a fellowship at Tanglewood and played principal oboe in the Santa Cruz Symphony from 1982 to 1985, soloing with that orchestra on several occasions. He played principal oboe at Music From Bear Valley from 1984 to 1991.
Donald Byrd studied music composition with Bernhard Heiden and Roque Cordero at Indiana University, graduating in 1968. Around that time, he became interested in computers and their potential to help musicians, particularly in terms of notation. After working briefly with Iannis Xenakis and spending a number of years at the University's academic computing support services, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a music-theory minor (1984). His dissertation, entitled Music Notation by Computer, is so well-regarded that as of this writing, some 22 years later, a Web site that specializes in products related to music notation prominently lists "Don Byrd's PhD thesis" among the books it carries.
Byrd's dissertation supervisor was Prof. Douglas Hofstadter, and -- using his own music-notation program, SMUT, one of the first of its kind -- Byrd created the musical examples for Hofstadter's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Goedel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (Basic Books, 1979). Since then, Byrd has worked extensively both in industry (he was one of the main sound designers and sound-design software developers for the first Kurzweil synthesizers, and was the principal designer of the music-notation program Nightingale) and academia (he did research on music-notation software at Princeton University for two years, and worked on text information retrieval at the University of Massachusetts for five years).
Byrd received his "OMRAS" grant for research in music information retrieval (music IR) from the U.S. government-funded Digital Libraries Initiative Phase 2, in 1999, and he organized ISMIR 2000, the first major conference on music IR, under its auspices. He returned to Indiana University to continue his research on music IR and join the Variations2 digital music library project in the summer of 2001. He is currently a visiting associate professor in the School of Informatics at IU.
In private life, Don Byrd is the lucky father of two and husband of one. He likes to pass time with his family and friends, often in the presence of music or while climbing steep walls of rock or artificial materials.
Don also maintains an extensive Music IR and Informatics Bibliography, a Vocabulary for Music Informatics and a list of Information Sources for Music Informatics Students, as well as a popular page on the Extremes of Conventional Musical Notatation.
Eric Isaacson is Associate Professor and Chair of music theory in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is also coordinator of the Music Information Technology graduate minor program in IU's Jacobs School of Music. He holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Informatics and is a core faculty member in IU's Cognitive Science Program. He has published articles and book reviews in Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, Indiana Theory Review, and Advances in Computers. He has special interests in the pre-serial music of the Second Viennese School, computer applications in music analysis and music pedagogy, and visualization in music. He is former editor of Music Theory Online. He was the recipient of two-year grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (U.S. Department of Education) to develop Music Fundamentals Online, a web-based course in music fundamentals, and was Co-Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded Variations2: The IU Digital Music Library project.