By: Jay Daignault
On: September 6, 2012
Computers have been used to create new sounds and music additives commonly used in contemporary music and media. Computer assisted technology has been incorporated into numerous melodies, creating unique, inorganic sounds. Synthesizers and other pieces of sound equipment have changed the way we perceptive sound and provide new opportunities for musicians and other professionals that deal with sound manipulation.
Here are some links to Okoto.com pages for music related website values:
Acoustics, Psychoacoustics, and Music Perception
Acoustics, psychoacoustics, and music perception are three important aspects of all music. Acoustics is the scientific branch that focuses on the study of sound and vibrations, while psychoacoustics deals with the way sound is perceived. Psychoacoustics goes with music perception as both disciplines study the response a human brain has to music. Science has shown that music can have a direct impact on a person’s emotions. These fields of study have demonstrated that listening to music is more than just an auditory experience but one that reaches past the five senses and touches a person’s emotions.
- A Brief Introduction to Psychoacoustics: The Frost School of Music examines the science behind psychoacoustics.
- An Improved Model of Tonality Perception Incorporating Pitch Salience and Echoic Memory: The Ohio State University School of Music looks at music perception as it relates to psychoacoustics.
- The Perception of Emotional Expression in Music: Evidence from Infants, Children, and Adults: Psychology of Music study that focuses on music perception, in PDF format.
Additive Synthesis and Sampling
Additive synthesis is the process of using sound synthesis to create different musical timbres. Musical timber may be described as the sound that is unique to an instrument. Musical timber gives musical instruments their characteristics. As musical timber has to do with tone, it is often referred to as tone quality. Music sampling is the process by which a small bit or sample of a musical piece is cut and then played over another track.
- Additive Synthesis: An in-depth look at additive synthesis from Stanford.
- Music Sampling and Copyright Law: PDF guide from Princeton University regarding music sampling and the law.
- Additive Synthesis: Project from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology that explores additive synthesis.
- Introduction to MIDI and Computer Music: Part 4 Sampling: Indiana University looks at sampling in this online music tutorial.
Composition with Computers
Computer music is a growing art form that consists of using digital technology to create music. The process is completed by combining principles of music theory with digital capabilities, technology, and software. Computer music has its roots in electronic music, which began gaining popularity in the late 60s. Today, it is common to see musicians using computers for numerous reasons that deal with music. From laying additional tracks to editing and recorded music, computers play a vital role in music composition.
- Computer Music: Blair School of Music Vanderbilt University free online course that explores composing with computers.
- What is Computer Music Composition? PDF file from NUI Maynooth University Music Department that looks at computer music composition.
- Six Techniques for Algorithmic Music Composition: PDF file from Peter Langstan that focuses on algorithmic music composition.
History of Electro-Acoustic and Computer Music
Scholars believe that electroacoustic music began during the late 40s to early 50s. It is believed the music form originated from electronic music which continued to grow in popularity. As technology continues to make advances in electronics and computers, it is accepted that these music forms will continue to evolve. The earliest forms of computer music include tape music, electronic music, and computer music.
- History of Electroacoustic Music Timeline: Penn State features a text line that illustrates the history of electroacoustic music.
- Chronology/ History of Electronics and Computer Music Related Events: Timeline from Doornbusch that features significant events in the history of electro-acoustic and computer music.
- Electronic Music Historical Overview: Indiana University examines important events in the development of electronic music.
- Electronic Music: Florida Atlantic University takes a close look at the history of electronic music with this timeline.
Mathematics and Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
There is a great deal of mathematics behind digital music and digital signal processing. Understanding what DSP is and how it works is extremely important to those composing computer music. You may find free textbooks and other resources that will expand upon the process of using mathematics with Digital Signal Processing.
- Signal Processing for Communications: Free online textbook that explores digital signal processing.
- How do I learn DSP? Online guide from Dale Grove that answers numerous questions regarding DSP and provides online tutorials.
- Digital Signal Processing, Theory, and Practical Considerations: PDF file from the University of Southern Mississippi that discusses Digital Signal Processing.
- DPS Math: Fixed Point Arithmetic: In this PDF file, the University of Colorado at Boulder looks at the math processes involved in Digital Signal Processing.
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is one of the oldest forms of computer music and dates back to 1982. MIDI allows digitally based or electronic musical equipment to interact with one another. Most electronic equipment is built with MIDI capability and they are often created on MIDI products.
- Association of Music Electronics Industry: Official site for the Association of Music Electronics Industry that determines the standards for MIDI.
- MIDI Basics: This PDF file from Rutgers University explores MIDI and discusses its benefits.
- MIDI: An online tutorial by the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs that explores MIDI and its uses.
- History of MIDI: A close look at the history of MIDI from California State University East Bay.
Music languages refer to computer music language and there are many. These programming languages have been designed for creating music and are often used with sound synthesis. Some popular music languages include ABC, ChucK, CMusic and FAUST. Music language is an important component of an
- Programming Languages Used for Music: Extensive listing of different programming languages used in music.
- High Level Languages for Computer Music: University of California Santa Cruz looks at different programming languages used to create computer music in this PDF document.
- Visual Music in a Visual Programming Language: Learn about visual music and visual programming languages in this PDF document from the Case Western Reserve University.
- Algorithmic Clustering of Music Based on String Compression: This scholarly PDF paper looks at algorithmic clustering and computer music languages.
Wavelets are a break or oscillation that occurs in an amplitude. They derive their name for their wavelike characteristics. Those interested in making their own computer music will find that wavelets are very useful.
- An Introduction to Wavelets: Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado astronomer looks at wavelets and introduces them to the layperson.
- Wavelets: A tutorial on wavelets by the Georgia Institute of Technology.
- A Wavelet Tour of Signal Processing: An online tutorial and introduction to wavelets.
The following organizations are invaluable to the field of computer music. There are organizations available for professionals as well as for laypeople who view computer music as a hobby. Organizations are an excellent way for music enthusiasts to stay up to date with current trends. There are national and local organizations that you may choose from.
- The International Computer Music Association: An international organization for those associated with the computer music industry.
- Electronic Music Foundation: A non-profit organization headquarted in New York for those involved in electronic music.
- SEAMUS: The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States is a nationwide organization for those involved in the electronic music industry.
- International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD): The International Community for Auditorium Display focuses on research and explores various aspects of auditory display.
Computer Music Links
The following computer music links provide many resources for those seeking further information on the subject. From online tutorials and programs that will help you create your own computer music, these links provide many benefits.
- Music and Computers: Online book from Columbia that explores computers and music.
- Digital Music Online Tutorial: The University of Plymouth and UNESCO are behind this site that provides a free digital music tutorial online.
- The Living Room: Computer music and resources from Livingroom Music.
- Bol Processor: Free, open source program Bol Processor for creating music composition and improvisation.
The Perception of Emotional Expression in Music: Evidence from Infants, Children, and Adults: