Music 220b | winter 2020
Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computational Music
Ge Wang and Vidya Rangasayee (TA)

lectures | assignments | portfolios

class: MW 3:30-5:20pm
location: CCRMA classroom (the Knoll)
prerequisite: 220a - or by instructor's permission.

course summary:

This is the second course in the 220 series. It investigates computer-mediated composition, advanced sound synthesis techniques, as well as the aesthetics of computer-mediated music composition, and as they relate to psychoacoustics, and spatial processing. The course uses the ChucK programming language for assignments and projects. The format consists of in-class discussions and lectures, individual and group assignments, studio critiques, and a final project.

synthesis / analysis topics:
  • subtractive synthesis, filters
  • modulation / AM / FM synthesis / waveshaping
  • timbre, sculpting, perception
  • granular synthesis / FOF's / phism
  • FFT / audio analysis / UAna in ChucK / resynthesis / event detection
  • formant-based synthesis
  • learning to program these via ChucK
computer music + compositional algorithms topics:
  • tools and techniques for creating computational music
  • approaches for computer-mediated composition
  • algorithmic sonification
  • aesthetics of computer-mediated composition and performance
  • homework #0: ChucKu's + Sound Logos
    due date: 2019.1.14, Tuesday, 11:59:59pm
  • in-class listening: 2019.1.15, Wednesday
    REAL TIME Feedback

  • homework #1: Homebrew
    milestone: 2020.1.27, Monday, in-class Real-time feedback
    due date: 2020.2.2, Sunday, 11:59:59pm
  • presentation (in-class): 2020.2.3, Monday
    REAL-TIME FeEdBaCk!!!

  • homework #2: Generative Drum Machine + Soundscape
    milestone: 2020.2.12, Wednesday, in-class (FEEDBACK)
    due date: 2020.2.16, Tuesday, 11:59:59pm
    listening: 2020.2.17, Wednesday in-class
  • real-time feedback!

  • final project: Computer-mediated, Audio-visual(-HAI), System for Musical Composition / Live Performance
    due dates:
    • milestone 0 (in-class, Monday, 2/24/2020 in-class)
      initial ideas, two sketches of vision, sound, music, interaction, aesthetics, music technology involved
    • milestone 1 (in-class, Monday, 3/2/2020 in-class)
      initial working idea, with sound, visual, and core aesthetic loop
      real-time feedback
    • milestone 2 (in-class, Monday, 3/9/2020 in-class)
      essential working system; the main aesthetic and artistic loop closed!
      real-time feedback
    • portfolio + deliverables (Wednesday, 3/18/2020, noon)
      all documentation/program notes/code/etc
    • final performance: 2020.3.18, Wednesday, 7pm, CCRMA Stage
    • Option B: Website only Make sure that your website includes not only a video recording of the actual piece but also what you would have presented had there been a live presentation. This may require you to do some video editing to make sure your entire story is presented. Your website must be polished and include links to your code and samples in addition to video/audio recording of your actual piece. Your entire grade will be based on what is on the website.
    • Option C: Private Presentation + Web Portfolio This is similar to what you would have done had there been a public performance except now it will be to a private audience of at the very least Ge and Vidya. You need not attend other people's performance. The performance will take place on Stage on Mar 18th between 7-10pm (A signup sheet will be sent later) Your Web Portfolio should still include a video of your final piece as well as the writeup about the piece. Your grade will be based on your live presentation as well your web portfolio.
    • Option D: Music Video—Artist Response to COVID-19 In response to the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, critically compose an artistic statement in the form of a music video (3-5 minutes) as your final project. Feel free to incorporate elements of news videos, articles, headlines, photos, sounds or other media in your work. Be thoughtful and reflective about the many dimensions (health, society, daily life, politics, hopes, fears, irony, etc.) surrounding this unfolding world-wide situation.

      Deliverables: a polished website that includes the final high-quality video as well as your motivation, artistic process, code, etc.

CCRMA | Music Department | Stanford University