Category Archives: Research Projects

Examining the User Experience in Three Computer Music Implementations


This work analyzes the ramifications and contexts in which three types of musicians, K-8 students, church musicians and graduate composers and scholars interface with and use computer music installations. By examining an Ubuntu Studio installation in an elementary school, a theoretical Hauptwerk Digital Organ installation in a Roman Catholic Church, and the Peabody Computer Music studio suite, one can come to a definition of what makes a user experience functional and easy to use.

Click on the following link to download this work in PDF format: Josh Armenta Thesis 2015

Studio Report 2015


There are many significant firsts in the history of Peabody Computer Music (PCM). It is the first electronic and computer music studio in a conservatory in the United States. Peabody itself is the first conservatory of music in the U.S.  And our parent institution, the Johns Hopkins University, is America’s first research university.

For 48 years PCM has been training highly-skilled musicians to use computers and technology for composition, performance and music-related research. We work within the context of a conservatory that prizes the great accomplishments of the past even as we develop new musical vocabularies and techniques for the expressive musician of the future.

New dean Fred Bronstein is a vital force in leading the oldest music conservatory in the U.S. into the 21st century. One of his first actions was to host a university-wide symposium “What’s Next for Classical Music?”.

PCM reaches out to new international and inter-institutional collaborations. Of particular promise is the new collaboration between Peabody, Johns Hopkins and the Maryland Institute College of Art under the artistic direction of digital pioneer Thomas Dolby, recently named the first Homewood Professor of the Arts. This new enterprise, dubbed “Station North Arts”, will bring together film, composition, recording arts, and computer music.

Authors: Dr. Geoffrey Wright, Dr. McGregor Boyle, Ms. Sunhuimei Xia, Mr. Josh Armenta, Mr. Ryan Woodward

Research Objective: ICMC 2015


2011 Johns Hopkins Technology Fellowship Grant

9/5/2011- Graduate students Evan Combs and Griffin Cohen were recipients of a 2011 Johns Hopkins Technology Fellowship Grant. The grant was provided by the Center for Educational Resources at the Johns Hopkins University. The project was proposed as a series of tutorials and guides to assist in the teaching of the “Introduction to Computer Music” class taught by Dr. McGregor Boyle. The project is complete and can be viewed on our website under the Projects tab or HERE.

Performance Practice of 20th Century Electroacoustic Music: A Test Case as Prototype

Computer music faculty members McGregor Boyle and Geoffrey Wright and graduate student Heather Woodworth, have received a Center for Educational Resources Technology Fellowship grant from Johns Hopkins University. Their project, “Performance Practice of 20th Century Electroacoustic Music: A Test Case as Prototype” focused primarily on the problems associated with the preservation and digitization of analog tapes. Heather spent the summer exploring this issue and digitizing analog tapes in the Jean Eichelberger Ivey collection. The results of this project will be used as a teaching aid for the History of Electroacoustic Music course. For more information, please visit the project proposal.

Michael Scott-Nelson: Charmonika

2010 – Graduate student Michael Scott-Nelson recently created a virtual concertina/accordion/bayan called the Charmonika. You can choose your finger mapping to allow your computer keyboard to be used like a variety of different folk instruments. Optionally, use your mouse to control the bellows! Pictures, videos, and the software itself will be available before December. Visit Michael’s website for more information on the Charmonika and other projects he is currently working on.

Gradus ad Parnassum (Species Counterpoint Software)

Developed in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for Educational Researchand the Peabody Music Theory department, Gradus ad Parnassum is a java webstart application that allows first year music theory students to practice Voice Leading Excercises from the comfort of their own computer.

The project is currently under development by Patrick Donnelly and will be released at the CER’s annual symposium in April 2007.


The Hall-O-Deck (Virtual Concert Hall) Project

Utilizing hardware provided by the Intel grant, The Computer Music Department is developing a system with which a performer can rehearse in a practice room, and his instrument’s acoustic signal will be processed by NT workstations in such a way that the acoustics of a specific concert hall will be replicated. This is accomplished by the performer playing into a microphone, applying digital signal processing to the signal, and playing back signals into the practice room (through small multimedia speakers) which replicate the acoustics of a desired hall. Initial experiments with “off-the-shelf” processing equipment have been promising. We will, however, need to create models for specific concert halls and develop our own signal processing algorithms.


Peabody Archives mounts Oral History Project

Peabody Archives mounts Oral History Project

4:00pm Eubie Blake Cultural Center
Taken from the webapge: from the departments of History at The Johns Hopkins University and Musicology at the Peabody Conservatory took part in the project under the guidance of John Spitzer (musicology faculty), and Ron Walters (history department) and Elizabeth Schaaf, archivist and curator of the Archives of the Peabody Institute.A preview exhibition celebrating the debut of the website will be held at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center in Baltimore at 4 p.m. on February 2. Visitors attending the opening will have the opportunity of meeting the musicians interviewed and hearing their stories first-hand.