Music and Audio Computing I

Prof. Marcelo M. Wanderley
Phone: 398-4535 # 00917
Office: E228
Office Hours: Mondays 2-4pm.

Course Details:

2001 - time and place  Credits and pre-requisites
Time: Thursdays, 5 to 8 pm  Number of credits: 3
Place: UCL (Undergraduate Computer Laboratory)  Prerequisites: 216-202 and   216-203
Pre- or Co-requisite: 308-251

 Limited enrolment

Course Description:

Concepts, algorithms, data structures, and programming techniques for the development of music and audio software, ranging from musical instrument design to interactive music performance systems. Student projects will involve the development of various music and audio software applications.

Course Evaluation:

  • Assignments (20% each)
  • Tests (10% each)
  • Final Project (40%)

  • Class Outline:

    1 Sept/06/2001 Introduction to the course - 
    Historical evolution of computer languages for audio and music computing 
    Max language and its derivatives (Max/MSP, Pure Data, jMax)
    Sept/13/2001 Introduction to Max (Macintosh)
    Basic features of Max: objects, messages, connections, arguments
    Max and the MIDI protocol
    3 Sept/20/2001 Basic mathematical operations and decisions, argument passing
    Data flow in Max and scheduling
    4 Sept/27/2001 Data storage, communication between inside a patche and between patches 
    Abstractions and subpatches
    Video and audio manipulation
    First Assignment 
    5 Oct/04/2001 Time and mathematical management in Max .
    6 Oct/11/2001 Max as a sequencer, the timeline object
    Control of external objects
    First test, First assignm. due
    7 Oct/18/2001 Automatic patches
    Graphics and animation
    8 Oct/25/2001 Sequencing with detonate
    Max collectives and standalone applications
    Second assignment
    9S Nov/01/2001 The user interface
    Max scripting
    10 Nov/08/2001 More scripting examples
    Definition on Final Project themes
    Second test. Second
    assignm. due
    11 Nov/15/2001 Gestural Control in real-time computer Music
    Use of different input devices
    Final Project 
    12 Nov/22/2001 Advanced topics
    Final project 
    13 Nov/29/2001 Advanced topics .


    1) Max Tutorials and Topics Manual (available free from www.cycling

    2) Winkler, T. 1998. Composing Interactive Music. Techniques and Ideas Using Max. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
        Hardcover - 368 pages  ISBN : 026223193X
        Softcover - 364 pages (Second Printing 1999.) / new edition The MIT Press ; ISBN : 0262731398

    Extra References:

    1) Max Reference Manual (available free from www.cycling

    2) Rowe, R. 2001. Machine Musicianship. Cambridge, MA:  The MIT Press.
        Hardcover, 416 pages ISBN : 0262182068

    3) Rowe, R. 1992. Interactive Music Systems. Cambridge, MA:  The MIT Press.
        Hardcover, 278 pages ISBN : 0262181495
        French Translation: Systèmes musicaux interactifs, Broché - 306 pages (26 avril 1996)  International Thomson publishing France ; ISBN : 2841800504