Music and Healthcare: The Sync Project from Boston

It is widely known that Herbert von Karajan was involved in various music technology innovations, most notably in the development of the Compact Disc (CD). But few people know that he also had a deep interest in the effects of music on the human psyche and body.

To better understand how musical performances move human beings is perhaps the most fundamental question that any professional musician could ask. Herbert von Karajan, as was so often the case with him, went one step further and established a research institute for experimental music psychology at the University of Salzburg in 1968 to investigate this topic from a scientific perspective. In doing so, he helped propel a new kind of research, one that is focused on the intersection of neurology, medicine and music.

Today, there are quite a few start-ups who are applying this knowledge to innovative products and services.

One of these  young companies is “The Sync Project” from Boston. Co-founded by MIT Director’s Fellow Marko Ahtisaari, the company is building a system for music as a precision medicine.

We are very excited that Marko will join us for a panel discussion. You will also be able to experience The Sync Project in our Innovation Lab.


Music Cognition and Big Data

The Topic

Recent developments in technology allow in-depth analysis of all available music recordings. The study of such a large body of data brings us one step closer to understanding one of the most complex human achievements: Music. Why do we make music, how did it evolve over time and how does musical taste work?

As we consume music in the age of technology, we not only receive data in form of recordings, but also create data when we listen to music. Algorithms of online music services analyze what, when and how we listen. They predict what we seem to like, and what we don’t.

This panel discusses the areas in which big data and music intersect with a focus on applications in health, life-sciences and education.

The Panelists