Jonathan Berger is the Denning Family Provostial Professor in Music at Stanford University, where he teaches composition, music theory, and cognition at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He was the founding co-director of the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA, now the Stanford Arts Institute) and founding director of Yale University’s Center for Studies in Music Technology

Academic Appointments

2017-18 Courses

All Publications

  • Characterizing Listener Engagement with Popular Songs Using Large-Scale Music Discovery Data FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY Kaneshiro, B., Ruan, F., Baker, C. W., Berger, J. 2017; 8


    Music discovery in everyday situations has been facilitated in recent years by audio content recognition services such as Shazam. The widespread use of such services has produced a wealth of user data, specifying where and when a global audience takes action to learn more about music playing around them. Here, we analyze a large collection of Shazam queries of popular songs to study the relationship between the timing of queries and corresponding musical content. Our results reveal that the distribution of queries varies over the course of a song, and that salient musical events drive an increase in queries during a song. Furthermore, we find that the distribution of queries at the time of a song's release differs from the distribution following a song's peak and subsequent decline in popularity, possibly reflecting an evolution of user intent over the "life cycle" of a song. Finally, we derive insights into the data size needed to achieve consistent query distributions for individual songs. The combined findings of this study suggest that music discovery behavior, and other facets of the human experience of music, can be studied quantitatively using large-scale industrial data.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00416

    View details for Web of Science ID 000397317600001

    View details for PubMedID 28386241

  • The impact of audiovisual biofeedback on 4D functional and anatomic imaging: Results of a lung cancer pilot study. Radiotherapy and oncology Yang, J., Yamamoto, T., Pollock, S., Berger, J., Diehn, M., Graves, E. E., Loo, B. W., Keall, P. J. 2016; 120 (2): 267-272


    The impact of audiovisual (AV) biofeedback on four dimensional (4D) positron emission tomography (PET) and 4D computed tomography (CT) image quality was investigated in a prospective clinical trial (NCT01172041).4D-PET and 4D-CT images of ten lung cancer patients were acquired with AV biofeedback (AV) and free breathing (FB). The 4D-PET images were analyzed for motion artifacts by comparing 4D to 3D PET for gross tumor volumes (GTVPET) and maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax). The 4D-CT images were analyzed for artifacts by comparing normalized cross correlation-based scores (NCCS) and quantifying a visual assessment score (VAS). A Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was used for statistical testing.The impact of AV biofeedback varied widely. Overall, the 3D to 4D decrease of GTVPET was 1.2±1.3cm(3) with AV and 0.6±1.8cm(3) for FB. The 4D-PET increase of SUVmax was 1.3±0.9 with AV and 1.3±0.8 for FB. The 4D-CT NCCS were 0.65±0.27 with AV and 0.60±0.32 for FB (p=0.08). The 4D-CT VAS was 0.0±2.7.This study demonstrated a high patient dependence on the use of AV biofeedback to reduce motion artifacts in 4D imaging. None of the hypotheses tested were statistically significant. Future development of AV biofeedback will focus on optimizing the human-computer interface and including patient training sessions for improved comprehension and compliance.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.05.016

    View details for PubMedID 27256597

  • In Search of a Perceptual Metric for Timbre: Dissimilarity Judgments among Synthetic Sounds with MFCC-Derived Spectral Envelopes JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY Terasawa, H., Berger, J., Makino, S. 2012; 60 (9): 674-685
  • Commissioning and quality assurance for a respiratory training system based on audiovisual biofeedback. Journal of applied clinical medical physics Cui, G., Gopalan, S., Yamamoto, T., Berger, J., Maxim, P. G., Keall, P. J. 2010; 11 (4): 3262-?


    A respiratory training system based on audiovisual biofeedback has been implemented at our institution. It is intended to improve patients' respiratory regularity during four-dimensional (4D) computed tomography (CT) image acquisition. The purpose is to help eliminate the artifacts in 4D-CT images caused by irregular breathing, as well as improve delivery efficiency during treatment, where respiratory irregularity is a concern. This article describes the commissioning and quality assurance (QA) procedures developed for this peripheral respiratory training system, the Stanford Respiratory Training (START) system. Using the Varian real-time position management system for the respiratory signal input, the START software was commissioned and able to acquire sample respiratory traces, create a patient-specific guiding waveform, and generate audiovisual signals for improving respiratory regularity. Routine QA tests that include hardware maintenance, visual guiding-waveform creation, auditory sounds synchronization, and feedback assessment, have been developed for the START system. The QA procedures developed here for the START system could be easily adapted to other respiratory training systems based on audiovisual biofeedback.

    View details for PubMedID 21081883

  • Analysis of Pitch Perception of Inharmonicity in Pipa Strings Using Response Surface Methodology JOURNAL OF NEW MUSIC RESEARCH Chin, S. H., Berger, J. 2010; 39 (1): 63-73
  • Commissioning and quality assurance for a respiratory training system based on audiovisual biofeedback JOURNAL OF APPLIED CLINICAL MEDICAL PHYSICS Cui, G., Gopalan, S., Yamamoto, T., Berger, J., Maxim, P. G., Keall, P. J. 2010; 11 (4): 42-56
  • Neural dynamics of event segmentation in music: Converging evidence for dissociable ventral and dorsal networks NEURON Sridharan, D., Levitin, D. J., Chafe, C. H., Berger, J., Menon, V. 2007; 55 (3): 521-532


    The real world presents our sensory systems with a continuous stream of undifferentiated information. Segmentation of this stream at event boundaries is necessary for object identification and feature extraction. Here, we investigate the neural dynamics of event segmentation in entire musical symphonies under natural listening conditions. We isolated time-dependent sequences of brain responses in a 10 s window surrounding transitions between movements of symphonic works. A strikingly right-lateralized network of brain regions showed peak response during the movement transitions when, paradoxically, there was no physical stimulus. Model-dependent and model-free analysis techniques provided converging evidence for activity in two distinct functional networks at the movement transition: a ventral fronto-temporal network associated with detecting salient events, followed in time by a dorsal fronto-parietal network associated with maintaining attention and updating working memory. Our study provides direct experimental evidence for dissociable and causally linked ventral and dorsal networks during event segmentation of ecologically valid auditory stimuli.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.07.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000248711000017

    View details for PubMedID 17678862

  • Melody extraction and musical onset detection via probabilistic models of framewise STFT peak data IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUDIO SPEECH AND LANGUAGE PROCESSING Thornburg, H., Leistikow, R. J., Berger, J. 2007; 15 (4): 1257-1272
  • SICIB: An interactive music composition system using body movements COMPUTER MUSIC JOURNAL Morales-Manzanares, R., Morales, E. F., Dannenberg, R., Berger, J. 2001; 25 (2): 25-36