Building a Leader in Music Technology at Georgia Tech

Music Department Director Frank Clark is building a program focused on music, technology and performance

Georgia Tech's Music Department is still making great music, but the department is also creating a name for itself in the technology world.

The department's director, Frank Clark, is attracting faculty and students who have talents in both the music and technology sector.

"We're looking for people who are genuinely interdisciplinary, people who are interested and passionate about more than just one thing," said Clark. "That's really important because you can be a musician and a computer scientist, a musician and a mechanical engineer, a musician and a mathematician. Georgia Tech's Music Department and Center for Music Technology are creating ways for those skills to come together in real, meaningful ways."

Clark practices what he preaches. The director is an accomplished musician, but his research delves into ways to bring together various elements of multimedia simultaneously.

"What that means is, let's say I'm interested in rhythm and color," said Clark. "What then does rhythm, color and music look like? What is rhythm, color and graphics? What is rhythm, color and animation? My research is trying to find ways to bring those elements together in performances that actually have substance and meaning."

Clark says that technology in the music industry is changing daily and the new center will provide a place for researchers from across campus to see how their expertise can be applied to music.

"One of the things we firmly believe is that the vast majority of careers that combine
music and technology in the 21st century have yet to be invented," said Clark. "The center will provide a place for researching areas that haven't been explored yet. You'll have material scientists working side by side with musicians, computer scientists and mechanical engineers."

According to Clark, researchers will be studying everything from improving existing instruments to creating new instruments. There will be robotic projects, interactive performances and even applications for mobile devices that will all be associated with the new Center for Music Technology.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.