Patience, creativity and grit.
This course is an introduction to music and sound-art created through the use of computers and electronics. This is a studio course, and students will be expected to participate creatively in class by listening, taking an active role in discussions, and making your own work through significant, intelligent uses of technology. Although a component of this class includes learning how to use computers and other technological tools, this is not a "how-to-use technology" course. We will focus primarily on learning enough about technology to realize personal creative projects. There will be *.
Music composition taught in the context of modern computerized production methods. Technical topics include basic principles of computer sound generation, digital sound sampling, and the use of small computers for musical control of electronic instruments. Musical topics include a study of important musical works and compositional techniques of the 20th and 21st centuries. Student projects involve hands-on work on a variety of computer instruments and software. This course is a prerequisite for further creative work with Rensselaer's computer music facilities.
Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate...
- an understanding and appreciation of computer music through an awareness
of the many disciplines underlying the field including: listening skills, musical theory,
musical acoustics, psycho-acoustics, software design and programming, digital audio theory, and digital signal
- basic technical facility in the areas of audio recording, editing, sound synthesis, software development
and post production.
- creativity and resourcefulness through the creation and composition of your own sonic projects
ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
This class has regular homework, a combination of small artistic projects, reading and listening related to the current course topics. Four major homework assignments will be submitted by each student and graded with a letter grade. The course has no final exam; instead each student submits a final music and technology project that constitutes a major portion of their final grade.
Each of the four major assignments must be submitted as a .zip file of required documents online, unless other specfic instructions are given. Each student is provided with a shared assignment folder on https://box.rpi.edu/.
Please Note: Additional assignments and required work may be added to this list during the semester as needed.
- Project 1 (10 pts): Software Sketch - Pure Data
- Project 2 (10 pts): Composition - Fixed Media
- Project 3 (10 pts): Instrument - Pure Data
- Project 4 (10 pts): System - ChucK
- Attendance/class participation (10 pts)
- Final Project (50 pts)
This course is offered as a hybrid in-person + remote/distanced course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will make liberal and regular use of email, Discord and WebEx to keep in touch, as well as prerecorded/asynchronous and live video streams to deliver course lecture and lab content. Ideally we do better than Pepsi Due to the distributed nature of this semester "attendance" is not necessarily required, however for live lecture broadcasts it is expected that students attend and participate as appropriate. Students who anticipate a conflict with a given class lecture should contact the professor prior to the class to receive authorization.
STATEMENT REGARDING ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
Collaboration between students in this course is strongly encouraged. Likewise, students are encouraged—indeed, to some extent required—to exchange ideas, opinions and information . You are also encouraged to help each other in the lab and with performance, production, and presentation of composition projects.
Plagiarism of any kind is in direct violation of University policy on Academic Dishonesty asdefined in the Rensselaer Handbook, and penalties for plagiarism can be severe. In this class you will be expected to attribute due credit to the originator of any ideas, words, sounds, or music which you incorporate substantially into your own work. This applies particularly to citation of sources for sonic "samples" included in your compositions.
Submission of any assignment that is in violation of this policy may result in a grade of F for the assignment in question. Violation of this policy will be reported, as defined in the Rensselaer Handbook
DISABILITY SERVICES FOR STUDENTS
Students requiring assistance are encouraged to contact Disability Services: http://doso.rpi.edu/dss to discuss any special accommodations or needs for this course.
TEXTBOOKS / REPOSITORIES
Designing Sound, by Andy Farnell
Musimathics (Vol. I), by Gareth Loy
Musimathics (Vol, II), by Gareth Loy
Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music, by Miller Puckette
What is Computer Music? The History of Computers, Sound and Music
"Voices" of Computer Music: from The Voder, to HAL to I Am T-Pain
(Naxos requires you to use the RPI VPN: https://itssc.rpi.edu/hc/en-us/articles/360008783172-VPN-Connection-and-Installation)
Install "Vanilla" Pure Data 0.50-2 (Download
Introductions to Pure Data
- 2 - pd_1.0.mp4
- 3 - pd_1.1.mp4
- 4 - pd_1.2.mp4
- Composing with recorded sound: Musique Concrete, Soundscape Composition, sample-based composition
- Fundamentals of Digital Audio and Sound: Sample Rate, Bit depth, etc.
- Recording to an Edison cylinder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXaFAuhLfE
- "The New Sound of Music" documentary (BBC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUTdun0tFE8
- Applebaum Stanford TEDX talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46w99bZ3W_M
READING / TALKS
* the cake is a lie