Music Science

Graduate School of Media and Governance
Master's program First year
Hideo Daikoku

Program: X-Design (XD)

Deepening our understanding of human musicality through science

 I've always been fascinated by the role of music in society, and why only humans have evolved to develop the unique ability to perceive and produce music. I believe that music has a role in giving us a shared sense of belonging. Music also has the ability to transcend time and share experiences across generations. At SFC, Associate Professor Shinya Fujii's class on "Music and the Brain" opened my eyes to the possibilities of applying science and mathematics to music. I was amazed to see the extent to which humanities and science are interlinked. When I joined SFC's Music Science Lab, Associate Professor Savage's kenkyukai (seminar) on computational musicology made me start thinking about the universality of music across cultures.

Our research aims to use computational tools to understand cross-cultural questions about music, human behavior and evolution. I am conducting research on comparing automated analysis of world music, with human perceptions of musical similarity. Through this I hope to understand how to make algorithms better at predicting people's listening patterns and preferences. I also hope to use this research to make better tools for people studying music and culture on a global scale. Building a recommendation algorithm for music is one thing, but It's more exciting to find what aspects of music a person is listening to. Are they listening to the rhythm, or certain features in the singer's voice? It's truly an exciting field.

Self-driven research with a flexible curriculum gave me a broader perspective of music science

 The Graduate School of Media and Governance has leading experts in very unique fields of study. Not only are our faculty and students very academically accomplished, but they are also active members of society, with impressive projects that apply their research in the real world. I think this unique combination of science, the arts, and technology can only be found at SFC. I believe that the current research areas here are very much in line with the direction in which the world will move in.

The main advantage of researching at SFC is that we can apply new techniques to resolve complex modern day problems. As a student of the XD program, I get lots of interesting feedback from our diverse faculty members, that I would have never thought of.
I am grateful to have had access to lots of funding and resources for research, that have enabled me to conduct experiments on a scale that would not have been possible otherwise. Our professors also organize conferences with top academics to discuss a variety of topics in the field of music science. SFC gave me opportunities to travel to conferences in Paris and Bangkok, and study as a visiting researcher at Queen Mary University of London. Publishing my research through the SFC Journal has given me the confidence to write more research papers for prominent journals in my field.

Introduction of Laboratory

Comp Music Lab (SAVAGE, Patrick Laboratory)

Research Fields: Music, Psychology, Anthropology, Computer Science, Cultural Evolution, Digital Humanities