MUSIC AND COMPUTING
2017/2018, Semester 2
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Of Music)
Modular Credits: 2
The module introduces ways in which basic programming tools - iteration, randomization, conditions, amongst others - can be used to create music. It also includes an introduction to sample manipulation, sound synthesis tools, usage of common audio effects, and importation of MusicXML into music notation software. Students create two short compositions - an electronic collage composition and a scored composition created from algorithmically-generated components.
In the module, we will use 2 programming environments. We will start with Sonic Pi, a text-based Music Domain Language based on Ruby. In this environment, we will make music with samples and synthesizers. In the second half of the semester, we will use OpenMusic, a visual programming environment based on LISP. In this environment, we will do some basic computer-assisted composition and algorithmic composition of acoustic music. From OpenMusic, we will generate scores that can be imported into Sibelius or a similar notation software program, edited, and rendered as a score.
There are no prerequisites for this module. It assumes no prior programming experience. You will be aided if you have a basic background in Western music theory (scales, chords, rhythmic values, etc.). Still, this is not required.
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Compose a work in Sonic Pi software using basic computational techniques, including looping, randomization, constants, and variables;
- Understand and apply in Sonic Pi software fundamental elements of music synthesis, including filtering, ADSR, and sample playback rate adjustment;
- Understand and apply in Sonic Pi software basic signal processing effects, including reverb, distortion, delay, amongst others;
- Use the OpenMusic programming environment to create short musical components in which the pitch and rhythmic dimensions are algorithmically generated;
- Be able to export generated music from OpenMusic into music notation software;
- Render the music score as an audio file.
This will be a blended learning module. There is a series of online tutorials are available for Sonic Pi. These will be used for an introduction to the environment in lieu of class meetings in weeks 2 & 3. Class time will largely be dedicated to activities and feedback on projects under development.
There are two projects in this module that form all of the assessment. They are an electronic music composition created in Sonic Pi, and a chamber music work created in OpenMusic. They will be due mid-semester and end of semester, respectively. Details on these projects will be given closer to their due dates.
Electronic Music Composition: 50%
CAC Chamber Music Composition: 50%
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: No Class (Complete Intro to Sonic Pi Tutorials)
Week 3: No Class (Complete Intro to Sonic Pi Tutorials)
Week 4: Review Activities
Week 5: Project Development Support
Week 6: Project Development Support
- Mid-Semester Break -
Week 7: Class Concert of Electronic Works
Week 8: Introduction to Open Music
Week 9: Introduction to the 3209 Patches
Week 10: OpenMusic Activities
Week 11: Project Development Support
Week 12: Project Development Support
Week 13: Class Concert of CAC Chamber Works
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week