Typically this seminar has focused upon the use of particular methodologies and techniques for building fun new sounds. Past introductions to this very class have said something like: The purpose of this class is to explore bold and exciting new musical applications of computers and digital technology. We still intend to do a lot of that this year. However, our entry-point will be a little different.
Over the past several years, a number of new and powerful tools for analyzing sound have been developed -- many of them right here at Columbia. Our plan for this term is to investigate how contemporary signal-processing analytic methods can be used to further our understanding of music AND how they might be employed in creating new works. We feel that a serious consideration of the various applications now available might lead to innovative new approaches in both the analysis and the manipulation of digital audio. Or maybe not. But we will certainly have a terrific time trying to do this.
A big advantage for us in locating our primary pedagogical exploration on "analysis" is that we have a lot of major expertise in this area, also right here at Columbia. We have talked to many of our colleagues on the faculty and they have graciously accepted invitations to present their thinking about computer-aided musical analysis. A glance at the course syllabus will show the tentative dates for these presentations. We'll also have a few other outside speakers doing presentations about their work; they'll be announced in class and on the syllabus. We'll also be adding links from each weekly listing on the syllabus to information, example projects, class work, etc. as the course unfolds.
In the seminar meeting following each guest presentation, we
will be attempting to implement and further develop the concepts
discussed in the prior class. Don't worry if you don't have
major computer-hacking skills: this is not intended as
a programming class! Of course,
along the way we will introduce a number of contemporary computer
music languages and interesting software applications. Hopefully
you will find some of these intriguing and will want to learn
more about them. We will certainly be available to help work through
any problems you encounter as you explore these packages in more
depth. Just ask!
Such is life.
Here are a few links to software that we probably will be using in class:
Please let us know if you are having
problems gaining access to our facilities or getting equipment to work
for you. In general, if you are having difficulty
understanding the programming paradigms
we are using, or getting the hardware/software to work for you, be
sure to talk to us. We'll be happy to sit down and work through
any issues with you.
We'll try to keep up with linking in class patches and examples,
but we may fall behind. Yell at us when we do.
It's always a good idea to make an appointment to see me, even during my purported office hours, because I often have to run around campus like a maniac doing strange, computer-music stuff. If you need to contact someone at the CMC or Music Department using your actual voice, the relevant phone numbers are:
I say this every year, and generally people believe it (I think): by this point in your career the last thing you should be worrying about is a grade. The main thing is to find something that you'd really like to do and then do it. Please don't try to impress us with your consummate knowledge and skill, we are more impressed by people who do things. Honest!
Hope you enjoy the class!