Dan Perelstein

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  • Pursuing B.S. Engineering, Swarthmore College 2009
  • Pursuing B.A. Music, Swarthmore College 2009


I am a Swarthmore College student in the class of 2009, double majoring in Music and Engineering in the Honors Program. My primary interests are music (bass, conducting, jazz music, pop music), theater (theatrical sound design, acting, directing, musical directing, musical theater), and engineering (music technology). Most generally, I am interested in designing an audience's complete sonic experience, from start to finish.

Research Interests:

I am primarily interested in the field of Music Information Retrieval (a.k.a. Computer Listening), which is an area of Artificial Intelligence that attempts to teach computers to make intelligent musical decisions. In the summer of 2007, I developed (with Dr. Kim) an algorithm that detected cover versions (multiple performances of the same composition) of a seed song from within a database. In the summer of 2008, I developed an algorithm that uses real-time audio-to-score alignment (a.k.a. Score Following) to enhance orchestral broadcasts with relevant musical commentary. This system was given as a demo during the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) 2008 conference.

In 2008 and 2009, I intend to develop a system that provides intelligent accompaniment for live jazz performances. This system will take as input the audio signals from bass, drums, and saxophone as well as a known reference (either a musical score or audio from a previous performance of the same composition) and will output a synthesized piano accompaniment in real-time, responding intelligently to the input signals. On the most basic level, the system will run a score-following algorithm to align the live performance with the known reference. This algorithm will differ from typical score-following algorithms due to the imprecision of the musical score in jazz performance. Once a satisfactory implementation has been achieved, a polished user interface will be developed and the system will undergo experimentation to determine the shortcomings of the system. In addition to addressing the specific shortcomings found, the system can be additionally improved by studying the usage of harmonic substitutions in jazz piano and implementing a control system that would govern their use in performance. Ideally, these harmonic substitutions would be used as a function of the input from the other instruments.

Societies and Awards: