We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.

–Walt Kelly


Speech and music are the most basic means of adult human communication. As technology advances and increasingly sophisticated tools become available to use with speech and music signals, scientists can study these sounds more effectively and invent new ways of applying them for the benefit of humankind. Such research has led to the development of speech and music synthesizers, speech transmission systems, and automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. Hand in hand with this progress has come an enhanced understanding of how people produce and perceive speech and music. In fact, the processing of speech and music by devices and the perception of these sounds by humans are areas that inherently interact with and enhance each other.

Despite significant progress in this field, there is still much that is not well understood. Speech and music technology could be greatly improved. For instance, in the presence of unexpected acoustic variability, ASR systems often perform much worse than human listeners (still!). Speech that is synthesized from arbitrary text still sounds artificial. Speech-coding techniques remain far from optimal, and the goal of transparent transmission of speech and music with minimal bandwidth is still distant. All fields associated with the processing ...

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