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271A - Survey of Electronic Music Techniques I

Winter 2017
Wednesday 2:00 - 4:50
WLH 2155

This is an overall introduction to using computers and electronics in music composition. All classes are supported by relevant and eclectic historical background, and are divided into lecture and practice. Each class focuses on a single general topic in computer music. The class begins with a history lecture on the specified topic, and proceeds to examine works centered around that topic. Supporting patches will be examined, and sometimes pieces will be recreated. There will be suggested reading and weekly assignments.

Topics include elementary and advanced sampling techniques, basic digital signal processing, methods of synthesis, human-computer interface, hand-built circuits, and experimental video. By the end of the quarter, the student should have a comfortable grasp of the fundamental topics covered in the class. The primary software taught in this course is Max/MSP. This course culminates in a final project, which includes both a written (text) and creative (musical) component. The musical component must be done in Max/MSP.

Syllabus

Final Project

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Class 1: Electronic Instrument History/Intro to Audio

Links
Download Sample
Electronic Musical Instrument Resource : 120years.net
Scientific American article on the Telharmonium (1907)
Hermann von Helmholtz: On The Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music

Ryan Maguire's mp3 compression art project : The Ghost in the mp3

Patches from class

Assignment

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Class 2: Recording/Sampling

Max patches
Patches for class 2

Links
Scientific American articles on Edison: 1877, 1878
Yasunao Tone : mp3 Deviation #6
Solo for a Wounded CD (part 2)
Everything is a Remix (remastered)
Carter Family Can't Feel at Home
Woody Guthrie I Ain't Got No Home Anymore
First tape piece : Halim El-Dabh The Expression of Zaar
John Cage : Williams Mix, Tom Erbe remix
The Flying Saucer
James Tenney : Collage #1 (Blue Suede)
KLF : Whitney Joins the JAMS
John Oswald : Plunderphonics

Download Soundflower
Download JackAudio (pc users)

Patches from Class 2
(Including solutions to homework assignments)

Samples for Assignment
Assignment

Assignment 2 Solution

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Class 3: Synthesis

Patches from class 3

Links
Daphne Oram : Short Documentary , Album
Percy Grainger : Free Music Machine
Electronic Music in South America : Fondation Langlois
Norman McLaren : Loops (1940)
RCA Demo tapes
Article on and examples of early speech synthesis at Bell Labs

Fun speech synthesis: Utterance Robot , Euphonia

Assignment

___________

Class 4: DSP

Max patches
Patches from class 5

Assignment

Assignment Solution

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Class 5: Amplification

Max patches
Patches from class 5

Links
David Behrman's Wave Train
Bjork Medulla
Magda Mayas

Assignment

___________

CLass 6: review

Review Patches

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Class 8: Jitter

Exercise with Mary and Oranges

Patches from class