Introduction to Computer Music


Return to: MUSC 336

Introductions to the Field

Ballora, Mark. 2015. Essentials of Music Technology. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; TOC}

Collins, Nick. 2010. Introduction to Computer Music. New York: Wiley. {GB; TOC}

D'Escrivén, Julio. 2012. Music Technology, from the Cambridge Introductions to Music series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. {GB; TOC}

Elsea, Peter. 2013. The Art and Technique of Electroacoustic Music. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Hosken, Dan. 2014 An Introduction to Music Technology, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge. {GB; TOC; Companion website:

Manzo, V.J. 2015. Foundations of Music Technology. New York: Oxford. {GBd; TOC; Website}

Open Access:
Burk, Phil, Larry Polansky, Douglas Repetto, Mary Roberts and Dan Rockmore. 2011. Music and Computers: A Theoretical and Historical Approach, Archival Version. Available online at: <>

Hass, Jeffery. 2020. Introduction to Computer Music: An Electronic Textbook. Available online at: <> -*

Companions, Handbooks & Tutorials

Collins, Nick and Julio d'Escrivan, eds. 2017. The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. {GB}

Dean, Roger T. and Alex McLean. 2009. The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. New York: Oxford. {GB}

Roads, Curtis. 1996. The Computer Music Tutorial. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}
A revised 2022 edition is in the works.

Digital Audio

Ballora, Mark. 2017. Digital Audio and Acoustics for the Creative Arts. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; TOC}

Kirn, Peter. 2006. Real World Digital Audio. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press. {GBd}

Roads, Curtis. 1996. The Computer Music Tutorial. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}


Cook, Perry R. 2002. Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications. Boca Raton: CRC Press. {GB; Full text: ProQuest}

Dodge, Charles and Thomas A. Jerse. 1997. Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition and Performance, 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer. {GBd}

Mathews, Max and John Robinson Pierce, eds. 1989. Current Directions in Computer Music Research. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}

Roads, Curtis. 2004. Microsound. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Russ, Martin. 2012. Sound Synthesis and Sampling, 3rd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC. {GB}

Open Access:
Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd). Singapore: World Scientific Press. {GB}; See also: html | pdf


Manning, Peter. 2013. Electronic and Computer Music. 4th ed. New York: Oxford. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

See also: BAIN MUSC 336 Learning History



Cycling '74, Max 8 Documentation {C74}

See also: Learning Max


Bruno Ruviaro, A Gentle Introduction to SuperCollider (2015) {CCRMA}

See also: Learning SuperCollider


Ballora, Mark. 2017. Digital Audio and Acoustics for the Creative Arts. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Cook, Perry R. ed. 2001. Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound: An Introduction to Psychoacoustics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Helmholtz, Hermann von, and Alexander John Ellis. 1954/1885. On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music, 2nd ed. Mineola, NY: Dover. {GB}

See BAIN MUSC 336 Learning Acoustics

Algorithmic Composition

Dannenberg, Roger B. and Mary Simoni. 2013. Algorithmic Composition: A Guide to Composing Music with Nyquist. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Dean, Roger T. and Alex McLean. 2018. The Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music. New York: Oxford. {GB}

Nierhaus, Gerhard. 2009. Paradigms of Automated Music Generation. New York: Springer. {GB}

Clarke, Michael, Frédéric Dufeu, and Peter Manning. 2020. Inside Computer Music. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; TOC}

Cope, David. Hidden Structures: Music Analysis Using Computers. Middleton WI: A-R Editions. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central

Emmerson, Simon and Leigh Landy. 2016. Expanding the Horizon of Electroacoustic Music Analysis. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. {GB}

Simoni, Mary, ed. 2006. Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music. New York: Routledge. {GB}

Smalley, Denis. 1997. "Spectromorphology: explaining sound-shapes." Organised Sound 2/2: 107–126. {}


Mirando, Eduardo R. A-Life for Music : Music and Computer Models of Living Systems. Computer Music and Digital Audio Series. Middleton WI: A-R Editions. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Roberts, Siobhan. 2015. "John Horton Conway: A Life in Games." Quanta Magazine (August 28, 2015). Available online at: <>.

Wolfram, Stephen. 2002. A New Kind of Science. Champaign, IL: Wolfram Media {GB; Full text:}


Risset, Jean-Claude. Computer Music: Why? {}

Roads, Curtis. 2015. Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic. New York: Oxford. {GB; Companion Website}

Wishart, Trevor. 1996/2016. On Sonic Art. New York: Routledge. {GB; Website}

____________. 1994. Audible Design: A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Sound Composition. Amsterdam: Orpheus the Pantomime Ltd. {GBd; Website}

Xenakis, Iannis. 1992/1971. Formalized Music. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press. {GB}


Boulanger, Richard. 2000. The Csound Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB; TOC; Ch. 1}

Victor Lazzarini, et al. 2016. Csound: A Sound and Music Computing System. New York: Springer. {GB}

Digital Signal Processing

Open access textbooks by Julius O. Smith (Stanford University):

  1. Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) {CCRMA}
  2. Introduction to Digital Filters {CCRMA}
  3. Physical Audio Signal Processing {CCRMA}
  4. Spectral Audio Signal Processing {CCRMA}

Game Music

Karen Collins, et al., eds. 2017. From Pac-Man to Pop Music: Interactive Audio in Games and New Media. New York: Ashgate. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Collins, Karen. 2008. Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central}

Galloway, Alexander R. 2006. Gaming: Essays On Algorithmic Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. {GB; Full text: EC}

Miller, Kiri. 2012. Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; Full text: EC}

Instrument Design

Lazzarini, Victor. 2017. Computer Music Instruments: Foundations, Design and Development. New York: Springer. {GB}
sing Csound, Python, and Faust

Wang, Ge. 2018. Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. {Website}

Mixing and Mastering

Hepworth-Sawyer, Russ and Jay Jodgson, eds. 2017. Mixing Music. New York: Routledge. {GB}

Savage, Steve. 2014. Mixing and Mastering in the Box: The Guide to Making Great Mixes and Final Masters on Your Computer. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; Full text: EC}

Music and Mathematics

Benson, David. 2007. Music: A Mathematical Offering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. {GB; Website}

Fauvel, John, Raymond Flood, and Robin J. Wilson, eds. 2006/2003. Music and Mathematics: From Pythagoras to Fractals. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Loy, Gareth. 2006. Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {Vol. 1: GB; Full text: EC; Vol. 2: GB}

Tymoczko, Dmitri. 2011. A Geometry of Music: Harmony and Counterpoint in the Extended Common Practice. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; Full text: EC}

Toussaint, Godfried. 2013. The Geometry of Musical Rhythm: What makes a "Good" Rhythm Good. Boca Raton: CRC Press. {GB}




Pure Data (Pd)

Farnell, Andy. 2010. Designing Sound. Cambridge: MIT Press. {GB}


Hermann, T., A. Hunt and J. G. Neuhoff, eds. 2011. The Sonification Handbook. Berlin: Logos Publishing House. E-text available online at: <>.

See also: BAIN MUSC 540 Learning Data Sonification

Sound Studies

Cox, Christoph and Daniel Warner, eds. 2017. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, Revised Edition. New York: Bloomsbury. {GB}

Pinch, Trevor and Karin Bijsterveld. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Kahn, Douglas. 2001. Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts. Cambridge: MIT Press. {GB}

Spectral Music

Lazzarini, Victor. 2021. Spectral Music Design: A Computational Approach. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Teaching Music Technology

Watson, Scott. 2011. Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; TOC}

Tuning Theory

Gann, Kyle. 2019. The Arithmetic of Listening: Tuning Theory & History for the Impractical Musician. Urbanna, IL: University of Illinois Press. {GBd; Companion Website}

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Updated: September 26, 2021

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music