The projects on this page are a sampling of some of the collaborative work that has come out of the CMC in the last decades.

Students and staff at the CMC are constantly creating new music and artworks, putting on concerts and shows, releasing recordings and software, etc. For up to the minute info on CMC community activities, please see the News & Events on our front page and links to individuals’ websites on our CMC People page.

CMC Projects



RTcmix is a real-time software “language” for doing digital sound synthesis and signal-processing. It is written in C/C++, and is distributed open-source, free of charge. In certain respects, it is similar in function to other extant unit-generator-based software languages such as CSOUND, SuperCollider and (to a lesser extent) JSyn and Max/MSP — they do share a common heritage, after all. There are some differences, however, between all these languages… and variety is of course the spice of life!

RTcmix is developed in part by Brad Garton and Dave Topper. RTcmix on github


CHIPLOTLE: Now that’s a spicy plotter library!

Finally, a way to control your grungy old pen plotters with your shiny new laptop! Chiplotle is a Python library that implements and extends the HPGL (Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language) plotter control language. It supports all the standard HPGL commands as well as our own more complex drawing commands. Chiplotle also provides direct control of your HPGL-aware hardware via a standard usb<->serial port interface. Chiplotle is developed by Douglas Repetto, Victor Adán.


SPEAR is an application for audio analysis, editing and synthesis. The analysis procedure (which is based on the traditional McAulay-Quatieri technique) attempts to represent a sound with many individual sinusoidal tracks (partials), each corresponding to a single sinusoidal wave with time varying frequency and amplitude. SPEAR was written by Michael Klingbeil while he was a DMA student at Columbia.

SPEAR website


MEAPsoft is a program for automatically segmenting and rearranging music audio recordings. It is aimed at musicians and experimenters who want to play with new ways to put audio fragments together using state of the art machine listening and analysis techniques. MEAPsoft was a collaborative project between CMC students and staff and Dan Ellis’s LabROSA and was supported by several NSF grants.

Education & Service

Digitization Projects

During the past several years, the CMC has put its combination of well-maintained equipment (analog and digital) and well-trained personnel to good use in doing archive and preservation work. The CMC has successfully completed a number of archive projects, earning a well-deserved reputation as one of the few places available with both the correct equipment and trained expertise to do critical archival work. Current and recently completed archive and preservation projects include: Composer’s Forum Concert Archive; Columbia University Music Department Concert Archive; Cornell University Concert Archive; European Archive of Spoken Yiddish; Columbia University EMC Tape Archive.

Music and Computers: A Theoretical and Historical Approach

Growing out of classes in computer music at Dartmouth College in the early 1990s, the text Music and Computers was begun by Larry Polansky and Douglas Repetto in 1997 as part of an NSF Math Across the Curriculum (MATC) grant at Dartmouth College. Dan Rockmore, Mary Roberts, and Phil Burk joined as co-authors in 1998, and together we self-published the book online as a freely available resource, and for use in classes co-taught by Polansky and Rockmore. In 2002 Key College Publishing purchased the rights to this web-book, and Music and Computers was only available as a commercial website for several years. In 2008 Key College Publishing returned the rights to the book to the authors, and we have decided to once again make it a freely available resource.

We have reorganized and updated some minor aspects of the book for this current version. We hope it is useful and interesting:

Music and Computers

J.P. Morgan Kids Digital Dance and Sound Project

The CMC brings music technology to children and their teachers. A collaborative project of Ballet Frankfurt, Lego, mak.frankfurt, Paul Kaiser, and the CMC. Sponsored by J.P. Morgan. Participation of local school children organized with the collaboration of the Creative Arts Laboratory of Columbia University’s Teachers College and its city wide artists-in-residence program for schools.

View Website

Sonic Glossary

The Sonic Glossary is an innovative teaching tool for music appreciation. This project was initiated by Columbia Musicologist Ian Bent, with research by faculty and graduate students from the Department of Music and technical assistance from AcIS and the CMC.

Sonic Glossary on CCNMTL

Shows & Events


ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show

ArtBots was a series of international exhibitions featuring robotic art and art-making robots. It was founded and co-curated by Douglas Repetto.

For each show, we publish an open call for submissions, inviting artists from around the world to send us information about their work. We have no fixed definition of what qualifies for the show; if you think it's a robot and you think it's art, we encourage you to submit. The final list of participants is a mix of works selected from the open call submissions and additional artists invited by the ArtBots curators.

ArtBots Website Archives:

2011 2008 2005 2004 2003 2002 


people doing strange things with electricity

dorkbot is a monthly meeting where people share their creative work. Started at the CMC in 2000 by Douglas Repetto, dorkbot meetings have spread around the globe.

dorkbot website archive

C250 Symposium


Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bradford GartonElaine Sisman, co-chairs

A one day festival celebrating Columbia’s 250th anniversary, featuring performances by Narratrope, Luibo Borissov & Maja Cerar, Tomie Hahn & Curtis Bahn, George Lewis, Brad Garton, Terry Pender, Dan Trueman, as well as ArtBots installations.

More Info

Masterpieces of 20th Century Electronic Music

Presented by Lincoln Center.
Curated by The Columbia Computer Music Center.

Around the walls of Columbia University's Low Library rotunda, the Columbia Computer Music Center (CMC) presents a series of cases displaying historical and current CMC activity. The goal of these displays is to illustrate many examples of music, pedagogy, technology, and research done at the CMC from its beginning to the present, and to explain how these efforts have transformed the world of music and education in general.

Event Website

UNSUNG STORIES: Women at Columbia's Computer Music Center

The symposium "Unsung Stories: Women at Columbia's Computer Music Center" focuses on women who have studied and worked at the renowned Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (renamed the Computer Music Center in 1996). Unsung Stories highlights the work of women, including the work of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ composers and musicians at the Center, examining how institutional networks and intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, national origin, and other identifications impacted the daily work, modes of interaction, and visibility of women composers at the CPEMC/CMC and in the field more broadly. It features panels and roundtables with over thirty composers and scholars who will discuss the legacy, musical excellence, experience, and visibility of the diverse women who have worked at the Center from the 1950s to the present. 

Unsung Stories also includes a podcast series with an initial five episodes released this spring, featuring women active at the CPEMC/CMC over the years. In Fall 2021, Unsung Stories will wrap up with a concert showcasing work by women affiliated with the Center.

For more information about Unsung Stories, please visit

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
The Office of the Provost
The Center for Science and Society
The Committee on Equity and Diversity
The Department of Music
The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music
The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
The Computer Music Center
The Sound Art Program
Barnard Center for Research on Women