University of South Carolina
School of Music

BAIN MUSC 540/(737)
(Advanced) Projects in Computer Music

Spring 2019

MUSC 540 Learning Tutorial Links

C O U R S E   P H A S E S
1. Planning
2. Research &
3. Project Execution
and Group Activities
4. Presentation
Final Report


Thanks for a great semester!


Dr. Reginald Bain, Professor
Composition and Theory
(803) 777-8183
Music Building, R227

Course Description

Directed study in computer music composition/performance or research


MUSC 336 Introduction to Computer Music, or equivalent experience


Spring 2019 Syllabus (pdf)


  1. USC Computer Music Studio B (Music Building, R011)
  2. Computer Music Studio A (Music Building, R039)

Mutational Music Project

2019 USC Computer Music Concert

The group project for Spring 2020 will be an interdisciplinary collaboration with DUDYCHA BIOL 599. This unique beyond-the-classroom experience will focus on research/creative activity that lies at the intersections of evolutionary biology and algorithmic composition. It is part of the Mutational Music Project, the broader impact component of Dr. Jeff Dudycha’s National Science Foundation (NSF) grant Mutational variance of the transcriptome and the origins of phenotypic plasticity (NSF award #1556645).


Music Tech News

  1. SoundOnSound: Latest News
  2. Create Digital Music (CDM): Stories
  3. Music Tech: News
  4. Music Radar: Tech News
  5. Wired Magazine: Latest News
  6. Apple News: MacRumors
  7. Sweetwater News: InSync
  8. Scoring Notes: News

Current Topics

  1. Translating proteins into music, and back {MIT News}
  2. Classical Music Meets Real-time Visualization: Pianographique {Ars Electronica Blog}
  3. Max 8 is here! {Cycling '74}
  4. Cycling ’74 announce Max 8 coming after Ableton Live 10 {GearNews}
  5. Announcing Ableton Live 10 {Mobile Beat}
  6. Reason 10 is a return to form: all about the instruments {CDM}
  7. Ableton acquires Max maker C74; what you need to know {CDM}
  8. Steven Wolfram, How to teach computational thinking {}
  9. Learning Music Online

Apple | IRCAM Forumnet | Create Digital Music | MacRumors
MusicRadar | MIT Media Lab | Microsoft | MusicTech
New Music Box | NYTimes: Art, Science & Technology
| Sweetwater InSync | Wired

Open Access Books

Burk, Phil, Larry Polansky, Douglas Repetto, Mary Roberts and Dan Rockmore. 2011.
      Music and Computers: A Theoretical and Historical Approach
      Archival Version. {Columbia University}

Downey, Allen B. "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist," and more. {}

Hass, Jeffrey. Introduction to Computer Music: Volume One. {Indiana University}

Hermann, T., A. Hunt and J. G. Neuhoff, eds. 2011. The Sonification Handbook. Berlin:
Logos Publishing House. {Logos}

OpenStax. Biology. {}

Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd).
      World Scientific Press. {html | pdf | GB}

Rowe, Robert. Interactive Music Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {NYU}

Severence, Charles. Python for Informatics: Exploring Information. Available online at: <>.

Smus, Boris. 2013. Web Audio API. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media. {O'Reilly}

Wolfram, Stephen. 2002. A New Kind of Science. Champaign-Urbana, IL: Wolfram Media {Wolfram}

Ideas for MUSC 540/737 Projects

Max Projects

Software Design



Careers in Music Technology

Phillips, Scott L. 2013. Beyond Sound: The College and Career Guide in Music Technology. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Be sure to visit SPARK: The USC School of Music's Leadership Laboratory


  1. Kadenza
  2. Coursera: Music Courses
  3. EdX
  4. iTunes U
  5. MIT OpenCourseWare
  6. Kahn Academy
  7. Socratica
  8. Udacity


  1. Blogs
  2. Podcast



Risset, Jean-Claude. Computer Music: Why? {}
Roads, Curtis. 2015. Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic. New York: Oxford. {GB}
___________. 2004. Microsound. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}
Wishart, Trevor. 1996/2016. On Sonic Art. New York: Routledge. {GB}
____________. 1994. Audible Design: A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Sound Composition. Amsterdam: Orpheus the Pantomime Ltd. {GB}

Algorithmic Composition
Ariza, Christopher. 2005. An Open Design for Computer-Aided Algorithmic Music Composition. Boca Raton, FL: {GB}
Herremans D., Chuan C.-H., Chew E. 2017. "A Functional Taxonomy of Music Generation Systems." ACM Computing Surveys 50/5. {Preprint}
Dobrian, Chistopher. 2008. "Algorithmic Composition Blog: A journal of short lessons on the topic of algorithmic composition." {}
Essl, Karlheinz. 2017. "Algorithimic Composition." In The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, 2nd ed., Nick Collins and Julio d'Escrivan, eds. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}
Nierhaus, Gerhard. 2009. Paradigms of Automated Music Generation. New York: Springer. {GB}

See also: BAIN MUSC 540 Mutational Music Project: Algorithmic Composition

Getting Starting with Max/MSP
– See Max Project Ideas
Manzo, V.J. 2016. Max/MSP/Jitter for Music: A Practical Guide to Developing Interactive Music Systems for Education and More, 2nd ed. New York, Oxford. {GB | Oxford | Companion Website | EAMIR}
Rowe, Robert. Interactive Music Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {NYU}
Winkler, Todd. 2001. Composing Interactive Music: Techniques and Ideas Using Max. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}

Getting Started w/ Pure Data (Pd) – See

Getting Started w/ DAWs

The MusicRadar Team (Production Expo). 2015. "The 20 best DAW software apps in the world today" Music Radar (September 2015). {Music Radar}

Abelton Live | Acid Pro | Cubase | Digital Performer | Reason | Logic | ProTools | Reaper | Sonar

Computational Music Analysis

Cuthbert, M. S., and C. Ariza. 2010. "music21: A toolkit for computer-aided musicology and symbolic music data."
In Proceedings of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval, Miami, FL: 637–642. {DSpace@MIT

Meredith, David, ed. 2016. Computational Music Analysis. New York: Spring. {GB}

Tymoczko, Dmitri. 2013. "Review of Michael Cuthbert, 'Music21: a Toolkit for Computer-aided Musicology.'" Music Theory Online 19/3 (August 2013). {MTO}


  1. Music21
  2. Humdrum Toolkit

Laptop/Mobile Performance (See also: Learning Live Coding)

  1. TOPLAP: The home of live coding {Website}
  2. Princeton Laptop Orchestra {Website}
  3. Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra {Website}
  4. Puckette, Pd Repertory Project {Website}


Gann, Kyle. 2019. The Arithmetic of Listening: Tuning Theory and History for the Impractical Musician. Champaign Urbana: University of Illinois Press. {Audio Examples}

  1. Kyle Gann
  2. Marc Sabat, Music & Writings
  3. Advanced
  4. Software/Tools

Music & Mathematics

See also: BAIN MUSC 726B Music and Mathematics

MaMuX Seminar: Mathematics, Music, and Other Sciences {IRCAM}

Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music {SMCM}

Music Notation

  1. Professional notation software
  2. Free notation software
  3. Data Exchange
  4. Score Animation
  5. Advanced

Schankler, Isaac. 2013. &quot;Notational Alternatives: Beyond Finale and Sibelius. New Music Box (February 27, 2013). {New Music Box}


What is Sonification?
Burke, et al. 2011. "Sonification," in Music and Computers: A Theoretical and Historical Approach, Archival Version. {Website}

Hermann, T., A. Hunt and J. G. Neuhoff, eds. 2011. The Sonification Handbook. Berlin: Logos Publishing House. {Website}


IRCAM Forumnet, Spat~ {IRCAM}

Compositional Applications
Boulez, Pierre and Andrew Gerzso. 1988. "Computers in Music." Scientific American Vol. 258, no. 4 (April 1988). {IRCAM}
Chowning, John. 1971. "The Simulation of Moving Sound Sources." Journal of the Audio Engineering Society Vol. 19/1: 2–6. {CCRMA}

Synthesis, Audio Programming and Instrument Design

Introduction to Synthesis
Dodge, Charles and Thomas A. Jerse. 1997. Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition and Performance, 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer.
Moore, F. Richard. 1990. Elements of Computer Music. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd). World Scientific Press. {html | pdf | GB; PureData}

Audio Programming & Theory
Boulanger, Richard, and Victor Lazzarini, ed. 2010. The Audio Programming Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {Website}
Smith, Julius O. 2009. Introduction to Digital Filters. {CCRMA}
___________. 2009. Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). {CCRMA}
___________. 2018. Physical Audio Signal Processing. {CCRMA}
___________. 2018. Spectral Audio Signal Processing. {CCRMA}

Instrument Design
Lazzarini, Victor. 2017. Computer Music Instruments: Foundations, Design and Development. New York: Springer. {GB}

w/ Csound
Boulanger, Richard. 2000.The Csound Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {Website}
Lazzarini, Victor , Steven Yi, John ffitch, Joachim Heintz, Øyvind Brandtsegg, and Iain McCurdy. 2016. Csound: A Sound and Music Computing System. New York: Springer. {GB}

w/ Max/MSP – See Max Project Ideas
Cipriani, Alessandro and Maurizio Giri. 2010. Electronic Music and Sound Design Theory and Practice with Max/MSP, Volume 1.
      Contemponet {Website}
Lyon, Eric. 2012. Designing Audio Objects for Max/MSP and Pd. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions.

w/ Pure Data (Pd) – See
Farnell, Andy. 2010. Designing Sound. Cambridge: MIT Press. {MIT Press}
Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd). World Scientific Press. {html | pdf | GB; ; PureData}

w/ SuperCollider
Cottle, David Michael. 2009. Computer Music with Examples in SuperCollider 3. Salt Lake City, UT. {UCSB}
Wilson, Scott, David Cottle, and Nick Collins, ed. 2011. The SuperCollider Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {Website}

Web Audio

Smus, Boris. 2013. Web Audio API. O'Reilly Media. Sebastopol, CA. {O'Reilly Atlas | Code Samples | GitHub}


See also: Learning Tutorial Links

  1. Abelton Live : Software and hardware for live music production, creation and performance
  2. AlloSphere Software: Software used at UCSB's AlloSphere
  3. Audacity: Freeware app for audio editing/recording
  4. ChucK: Open source programming language for real-time sound synthesis and music creation
  5. Composers Desktop Project: Advanced sound transformation and editing
  6. Csound : Advanced audio processing, programming, synthesis, etc.
  7. DSP Quattro : Audio editor
  8. Final Cut Pro: Video editor
  9. Iannix: A graphical open-source sequencer for digital art
  10. Integra Live: Free, and easy to use, interactive audio processing
  11. IRCAM Forumnet: Advanced software for computer-music composition, performance, etc.
  12. JMSL: Java Music Specification Language API for composition, performance, and intelligent instrument design
  13. JSyn & PureJSyn: Sound API for Java
  14. Logic X : Apple's MIDI/Audio Sequencer/DAW
  15. Max: A graphical programming language for music and media
  16. Max for Live {Ableton; Cycling '74;}
  17. Python: An easy-to-learn general purpose programming lanaguage
  18. Processing: A programming language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts
  19. ProTools: Digital audio recording and editing
  20. Pure Data (Pd): An open source alternative to Max
  21. Reason: Software-based sampler, sequencer, and more
  22. SoundHack : A spectral sound processor for the Mac (convolution, mutation, spatialization)
  23. Sonic Visualiser - An application for viewing and analysing the contents of music audio files
  24. SPEAR: Sinusoidal partial editing analysis and resynthesis
  25. QLab: Live audio/video show control for Mac OS X
  26. SuperCollider : Real-time interactive audio synthesis and algorithmic composition {GitHub}


  1. Sounds
  2. Videos


  1. Garritan
  2. Kontakt
  3. Vienna Symphonic Library


  1. Arduino
  2. Blackmagic
  3. Focusrite
  4. Google Glass {WP}
  5. MIDI {WP}
  6. M-Audio
  7. Monome
  8. MOTU
  9. OSC {WP}
  10. OSCulator
  11. Pre-Sonus
  12. Tonal Plexus
  13. Rewire{WP}
  14. Wii Remote {WP}
  15. Wacom

Computer Music Magazines & Journals

  1. Computer Music Journal
  2. Computer Music Magazine
  3. Create Digital Music
  4. Electronic Musician
  5. Keyboard Magazine
  6. Leonardo Music Journal
  7. MusicRadar
  8. MusicTech
  9. Sound on Sound
  10. Sweetwater InSync
  11. Synthtopia

Professional Societies & Conferences

  1. Acoustical Society of America (}">ASA)
  2. Association for Technology in Music Instruction {ATMI}
  3. Audio Engineering Society (AES)
  4. The Bridges Organization: Art and Mathematics {Bridges}
  5. International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art and Design {EvoMUSEART}
  6. International Association of Laptop Orchestras {IALO}
  7. International Community for Auditory Display {ICAD}
  8. International Computer Music Association {ICMA}
  9. International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression {NIME}
  10. International Society for Music Information Retreival {ISMIR}
  11. Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST)
  12. New Music USA
  13. New Music World {NMW}
  14. Society for Electroacoutic Music in the United States {SEAMUS}
  15. Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music {SMCM}
  16. Sound and Music Computing {SMC}

Journals and Conference Proceedings

  1. Bridges Organization Archive {Bridges Archive}
  2. Computer Music Journal {MIT Press}
  3. Computing in Musicology {CCARH}
  4. Contemporary Music Review {Taylor & Francis}
  5. Csound Journal {}
  6. International Conference on Auditory Display Proceedings {ICAD}
  7. International Computer Music Conference Proceedings {ICMA}
  8. Journal of Creative Music Systems {JCMS}
  9. Journal of Mathematics and Music {Taylor & Francis}
  10. Journal of Mathematics and the Arts {Taylor & Francis}
  11. Journal of Music, Technology & Educaton {Intellect Ltd.}
  12. Leonardo, Journal of Arts, Sciences and Technology {Leonardo}
  13. Leonardo Music Journal {LMJ}
  14. Music and Mathematics Journal {Taylor & Francis}
  15. Music and Science {Sage}

See also: Music Theory Journals {BAIN MUSC 725}


Computer Music Journal Bibliography & Links {CMJ}

Updated: August 2, 2019

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music