Music 307
Introduction to Computer Music


Dr. W. Andrew Schloss
Office: MacLaurin A177
Local: x7931 Office Hours: Weds 4:30-5:30 pm or by appointment
email: aschloss at uvic dot ca

NOTE: All emails pertaining to this class must have "MUS 307" in the title.

TA: Chris Chraca
Office Hours: TBA and by appointment
email: krzyschraca at gmail dot com

Classes: MacLaurin A168, B002, and the Studios for Integrated Media (SIM)
(default location: A168)
Tues 2:30-4:20 and Fri 2:30-3:20


Electronic Music and Sound Design - Theory and Practice with Max and Msp - Volume 1 (Second Edition, Upd. for Max 7 Edition), by Alessandro Cipriani and Maurizio Giri
There is also a much less expensive iBook/iPad/iPhone version: Electronic Music and Sound Design Volume 1 (Second Edition, Upd. for Max 7 Edition)

(If you already have the older edition of the book, designed for Max 5, you can download the addenda)

Articles online:
1. Jean-Claude Risset, foreward to Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives, Thomas Licata, editor
2a. K. Stockhausen, Four Criteria of Electronic Music, from Stockhausen on Music: Lectures and Interviews
2b. alternative: LIVE version of Stockhausen lecture (video)
3. John Chowning, The Synthesis of Complex Audio Spectra by Means of Frequency Modulation, Computer Music Journal 1977
4. Gareth Loy, Musicians Make a Standard: The MIDI Phenomenon, Computer Music Journal 1985

Supplementary texts availabe in the library:
Electric Sound by Joel Chadabe
Foundations of Computer Music edited by Curtis Roads and John Strawn
The Music Machine edited by Curtis Roads
Twentieth Century Music by H.H. Stuckenschmidt
Computer Music by Charles Dodge and Thomas Jerse
The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross
Grove: Serialism

Supplementary Articles:
A Tutorial on Digital Sound Synthesis Techniques by Giovanni De Poli
The Dysfunctions of MIDI Computer Music Journal 12(1): 19-28. 1988 by F. R. Moore
Communicating with Meaningless Numbers Computer Music Journal 15(4): 74-77 by David Zicarelli

Labs (5) 40%
Midterm 30%
Final Project 30%

Schedule (please note that these entries are subject to slight variations):

Week 1 Introduction, goals, expectations: To gain"perspective" and artistic control
January 5 Brief review of acoustics, signals, sampling. A very brief history of the Twentieth Century
Technology vs. aesthetics in computer music and contemporary music in general
Computer vs Electronic vs Electroacoustic Music--the distinctions have as much to do with aesthetics as with technology/tools
Art and Technology: as old as the human race (well, not quite)
Music synthesis/analysis. CCRMA and IRCAM. Access to tools. Cahill, Theremin, Moog, Buchla, Mathews, Boulez, Cage, et alia.
LISTENING: Paul Koonce: Walkabout
READING: Risset's foreward to Electroacoustic Music and (optional): MAX/MSP digital audio tutorial

Week 2 A brief history of Musique concrete. Henry, Schaffer, et alia
Jan 9 Introduction to Max/MSP/jitter, MIDI protocol, binary and hexadecimal number number systems, polyphonic vs polytimbral.
Max vs MSP (sychronous vs asynchronous). <option> click for live help in Max
LISTENING: Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time, Oraison Pour Quartout D'Onde
Non-destructive editing, EDL, what does real-time really mean? Working out of real-time: Toy Story took months of computing to render. What about working faster than real-time? The"psychic" editor -- the futility of processing speed in the context of normalization, for example. Working from "left-to-right" is different from having the whole sound file on your disk before you start (as you would in a DAW as opposed to Max/MSP which generates audio "on-the-fly.")
Musical examples of analog vs. digital synthesis
LISTENING: Cage, Second Construction ("electronic aesthetic" but entirely acoustic music)
Interlude: aleatoric (Cage) vs stochastic (Xenakis) approaches to chance operations in music
Lab 1 Electroacoustic presentations (continue for next several classes). [Ongoing, beginning on Jan 12]
READING: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 1T / section 1.3 (page 25)

Week 3 Multitrack digital recording/editing using Pro Tools, Audacity, and other audio editors.
Jan 16 Field recording of source materials for the musique concrete project
LISTENING: Schaeffer/Henry, Symphonie pour un homme seul; Beatles, Revolution 9
READING: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 1P section 1 (page 50)

Week 4 Analog synthesis, the Buchla synthesizer, VCA, VCO, Ring modulation, how to record session directly to disk.
Jan 23
Bipolar vs unipolar waveforms; band-limited (or anti-aliased) vs non-band-limited generators.
Composition/aesthetics: Too many ideas vs. not enough ideas...
Lab 2 Musique Concrete using digital techniques [Due: Feb 6].
READING: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 1P/section 1.2 (page 70)

Week 5
Digital recording chain, dBFS vs dB SPL (mistake in book) Nyquest theory, Aliasing, Compositional Techniques
Jan 30 READING: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 1P/section 1.4 (page 98)

Week 6
Max/MSP: difference between subpatches and abstractions, difference between random and drunk
ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 1P/section 1.6 (page 110)
Musique Concrete

Feb 13
READING: Stockhausen's lecture on electronic music techniques

Week 8 Additive Synthesis, more MSP demos. Order of operations in Max.
Feb 20 Overview of synthesis Techniques: Fixed-waveform synthesis, additive, subtractive, non-linear (FM), waveshaping, granular, concatenative, Physical Modeling.
Lab 3 Buchla synthesizer [Due: March 2]

Week 9 Synthesis, cont'd
Feb 27 ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Interlude 1A7 (page 176)
Buchla Rostrum

Week 10 Lab 4 FM synthesis, Fourier Analysis, 3D spectra [Due March 16]
March 6
READING: Chowning's FM article, ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 2T (page 208)

Week 11 More Max, reading from/writing to tables, creating your own sequencer using the seq or detonate and multi objects
March 13 READING: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 2T / section 2.3 (page 256)
Using tables to produce gaussian or specified-shape random generators

Week 12 Examples: turning EEG data into sound and image using the coll data structure, piano roll notation, score following
March 20 MIDTERM: MARCH 20, 1950-1980 Composers, TIMELINE of Music Technology, Basic MIDI patch, Stuck notes example
READING: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN: Up to Chapter 2P / Practice (page 266)

Week 13 Demos, Max/MSP continued, using OSC (Open Sound Control) with arbitrary devices (compared with the MIDI protocol), Aalto and Kaivo synthesizers
March 27 Lab 5 Algorithmic control of FM synthesis using Max/MSP. [Due April 3]

Week 14 Computer Music performance videos (The Space Between Us, Suite from the Seven Wonders, UNI, etc)
3 April Time-based public art projects using Max/MSP

Final Projects [Due: April 20]



Listening examples (in addition to class presentations regarding Lab 1):

Paul Koonce: Walkabout
Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry: Symphonie pour un homme seul
Cage: Second Construction
Messaiaen: Oraison Pour Quartout D'Ondes and Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus
Sound design for Forbidden Planet
Wendy Carlos on tuning systems

Final project due Friday, April 20 by 5 pm

Note: for all lab assignments, you must HAND IN A BRIEF WRITEUP DESCRIBING YOUR WORK
(Musical materials, tracks, problems (if any), strategy, etc.)
You won't get a grade if there is no writeup!