Short CV

Xavier Serra is Associate Professor of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies and Director of the Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. After a multidisciplinary academic education, he obtained a PhD in Computer Music from Stanford University in 1989 with a dissertation on the spectral processing of musical sounds that is considered a key reference in the field. His research interests cover the computational analysis, description, and synthesis of sound and music signals, with a balance between basic and applied research and approaches from both scientific/technological and humanistic/artistic disciplines. Dr. Serra is very active in fields of Audio Signal Processing, Sound and Music Computing, Music Information Retrieval and Computational Musicology at the local and international levels, being involved in the editorial board of a number of journals and conferences and giving lectures on current and future challenges of these fields. He was awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council to carry out the project CompMusic aimed at promoting multicultural approaches in music information research.


  • 1989. PhD in Computer Music, Stanford University, USA.
  • 1983. Master in Music, Florida State University, USA.
  • 1981. Bachelor in Biology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.

Current professional responsibilities

  • Associate Professor of the DTIC-UPF (since 2001)
  • Founder and Director of MTG-UPF (since 1994)
  • Creator and coordinator of the SMC Master of the UPF (since 2009)
  • President of Phonos Foundation (since 2011)
  • Co-founder of Music Muni Labs (since 2017)
  • Member of the Special Area Team on Acoustic, Sound and Music Signal Processing of the European Association for Signal Processing (since 2005)
  • Member of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (since 2008)
  • Member of the European Association for Signal Processing (since 2005)
  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal of New Music Research (since 1999)
  • Co-founder and Board member of Reactable Systems Inc. (created in 2009)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the Sound and Music Computing Conference (since its creation in 2008)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the Digital Audio Effects Conference (since its creation in 1998)
  • Scientific reviewer of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (since 2000)
  • Scientific reviewer of Computer Music Journal (since 1997)
  • Member of the International Advisory Council of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) of McGill University (Montreal, Canada).


  • “Teaching activity at Master level” 2016 Prize given by UPF Board of Trustees
  • Best paper award at 6th International Workshop Folk Music Analysis, 15-17 June 2016
  • Best paper award at 14th International Workshop on Content-based Multimedia Indexing, 15-17 June 2016
  • ICREA Academia 2013 Prize by the Generalitat de Catalunya
  • ERC Advanced Grant 2010. European Research Council.
  • Google Research Award for Freesound (2009)
  • ICREA Academia 2008 Prize by the Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra Medal 2007
  • Google Research Award for Freesound (2007)
  • City of Barcelona 2005 Prize in multimedia for the Freesound project
  • Swets & Zeitlinger Distinguished Paper Award at the International Computer Music Conference 1997
  • Grant from the Catalan Government to spend half a year in the USA in 1994
  • Postdoctoral Scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of International Affairs to return to Spain (from September 1992 to August 1994)
  • Research and Teaching assistantship from Stanford University (from August 1984 to September 1989)
  • Scholarship from Comité Conjunto Hispano Norteamericano para Asuntos Educativos y Culturales to start PhD at Stanford University (from September 1983 to July 1984)
  • Scholarship from Caixa de Barcelona to study the Master at Florida State University (from August 1981 to July 1983)
  • Pi Kappa Lambda, 1983; Phi Kappa Phi, 1983 (academic distinctions at Florida State University)


  • Co-inventor of 29 patents related to sound synthesis, owned by Yamaha Corporation and filled in Japan and the USA
  • Serra et. al. 1996. "Method of and Apparatus for Analyzing and Synthesizing a Sound by Extracting and Controlling a Sound Parameter", U.S.A patent 5,536,902.
  • Serra et. al. 1991. "Musical Synthesizer Combining Deterministic and Stochastic Waveforms", U.S.A. patent 5,029,509.


Other activities