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Xavier Serra

Music Technology Group
Dept. of Information and Communication Technologies
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona


CV in english - CV en català
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Xavier Serra is Associate Professor of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies and Director of the Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. After a multidisciplinary academic education he obtained a PhD in Computer Music from Stanford University in 1989 with a dissertation on the spectral processing of musical sounds that is considered a key reference in the field. His research interests cover the analysis, description and synthesis of sound and music signals, with a balance between basic and applied research and approaches from both scientific/technological and humanistic/artistic disciplines. Dr. Serra is very active in promoting initiatives in the field of Sound and Music Computing at the local and international levels, being involved in the editorial board of a number of journals and conferences and giving lectures on current and future challenges of the field. He has recently been awarded an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council to carry out the project CompMusic aimed at promoting multicultural approaches in music computing research.

compmusic Mendeley
Linkedingoogle scholar

Main research projects

  • CompMusic, "Computational Models for the Discovery of the World's Music", is a research project funded by the European Research Council that runs from 2011 to 2017. Its main goal is to advance in the field of Music Information Research by approaching a number of the current challenges from a culture specific perspective. It aims to advance in the automatic description of music through the development of information modeling techniques applicable to five non-Western music traditions: Hindustani (North India), Carnatic (South India), Turkish-makam (Turkey), Andalusian (Maghreb), and Beijing Opera (China).
  • AudioCommons is a research project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme that runs from 2016 to 2019. Its aim is to promote the use of open audio content and to develop technologies with which to support the ecosystem composed by content repositories, production tools and users. These technologies should enable the reuse of this audio material, facilitating its integration in the production workflows of the creative industries.
  • DTIC-MdM Strategic Program on Data-Driven Knowledge Extraction, is a research initiative funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness as part of the Maria de Maeztu Acreditation that the DTIC has obtained. The initiative, that runs from 2016 to 2019, is dedicated to promote data-driven knowledge extraction research within the department and to boost synergies across our different research areas.


List of publications

Teaching activities

Selected recent talks

  • "Machine learning approaches for structuring large sound and music collections" [video], Data-driven Knowledge Extraction Workshop, UPF, Barcelona, June 29th 2016.
  • "The MdM Knowledge Extraction Strategic Research Program at DTIC-UPF" [video], Data-driven Knowledge Extraction Workshop, UPF, Barcelona, June 28th 2016.
  • "Research highlights in my journey within the field of Sound and Music Computing" [video, slides], Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, June 4th 2015.
  • "Music Information Retrieval from a Multicultural Perspective" [video, slides], CCRMA, Stanford University (USA), April 6th 2015.
  • "Jingju music: concepts and computational tools for its analysis", ISMIR 2014, Taipei (Taiwan), October 27th 2014.
  • "CompMusic and the development of music exploration tools for Carnatic music" [slides, video], CompMusic seminar, Chennai (India), December 14th 2013.
  • "CompMusic research progress: halfway results" [slides, video], 3rd CompMusic Workshop, Chennai (India), December 13th 2013.
  • "Heu complert, ara ja sou lliures" [text, video], Lliço de graduació pels estudiants de grau de la UPF, Barcelona, 30 Novembre 2013.
  • "Opportunities for a Cultural Specific Approach in the Computational Description of Music" [video, slides], 2nd CompMusic Workshop, Istanbul (Turkey), July 12th 2012.
  • "CompMusic: Computational models for the discovery of  the world's music" [video, slides], FRSM-2012, Gurgaon (India), January 19th 2012.
  • "Com serà la música de la web 3.0?" [video, transparències], Festa de la Ciència, Barcelona, 18 Juny 2011.
  • "CompMusic: Computational models for the discovery of  the world's music" [video, slides], Queen Mary, London (UK), April 7th 2011.
  • "Tecnologias para la creación musical y su impacto en las redes sociales" [video, slides], TEDx Barcelona, December 14th 2009.
  • "From Sound Synthesis to Sound Retrieval and Back" [video], Tech Talk at Google, Mountain View (USA), July 2007.