This project is inspired by the books of Professor William A. Sethares, especially Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale (Sethares 2005). Sethares has developed a music theory based on a measure of consonance that can be computed, using standard digital signal processing techniques. In Rhythm and Transforms (Sethares (2007)), the theory is further developed.

The books mix mathematical notation and code in various languages, most notably BASIC and Matlab. For this project, I’m using R. See (Sueur 2018) for the mathematics and an introduction to R.

Road map

The baseline is to code all the functionality in Sethares (2005) in R, using existing packages for audio processing wherever possible. The ultimate goal is to be able to do algorithmic composition and synthesis in R using the Sethares theory.


Sethares, W.A. 2005. Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale, Second Edition. Springer London.

———. 2007. Rhythm and Transforms. Springer London.

Sueur, J. 2018. Sound Analysis and Synthesis with R. Use R! Springer International Publishing.