21M.361 Composing with Computers I (Electronic Music Composition)

Spring 2008

Collage of photos: audio processors, MIDI keyboard connected to computer, screenshot of Max/MSP, and a pastel drawing.
Hardware, software and compositional aids used in the class. (Photos by Peter Whincop.)

Course Highlights

Two sections feature extensive notes. The labs section covers techniques of electronic music production, and the listening section supplies background and perspectives on the required listening assignments.

Course Description

This class explores sound and what can be done with it. Sources are recorded from students' surroundings - sampled and electronically generated (both analog and digital). Assignments include composing with the sampled sounds, feedback, and noise, using digital signal processing (DSP), convolution, algorithms, and simple mixing. The class focuses on sonic and compositional aspects rather than technology, math, or acoustics, though these are examined in varying detail. Students complete weekly composition and listening assignments; material for the latter is drawn from sound art, experimental electronica, conventional and non-conventional classical electronic works, popular music, and previous students' compositions.
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Peter Whincop

Course Meeting Times

1 session / week
2 hours / session

1 session / week
1 hour / session