Introduction to Computer Music

Learning Max

Return to: MUSC 336

Terms and Concepts: Max Programming Glossary

Cycling '74 Max 8 logo
  1. What is Max?
    Max is a graphical programming environment for music and media
  2. What can you make with Max?
  3. Download Max
  4. Program of Study
  5. Documentation & Tutorials

C74 - Cycling '74,

Online Course

Matt Wright (Stanford University), Programming Max: Structuring Interactive Software for Digital Arts (Max 7) {Kadenza}

Tutorial Videos

  1. Cycling '74 Tutorial Videos {C74}
  2. John Reed, Max 8 Tutorials {YouTube Playlist}
  3. Sam Tarakajian (aka dude837), Delicious Max Tutorials {YouTube Playlist}
  4. Mikhail Malt, (IRCAM Forum Pedagogical Team), Max Demo, at Meet the Forum 2021 {IRCAM Forum}

Other Tutorials

  1. Cycling '74, Getting Started with Max Resources {C74}
  2. Taylor, Algorithmic Composition: An Introduction for the Curious, Terrified, or Perplexed Beginner {C74}
  3. Stuck, Polyphonic Synthesizer Tutorial {C74}

Programming Examples

Christopher Dobrian (UC Irvine)

See also: Winkler 1998, Manzo 2016, and Wright 2017

Related Applications

  1. Ableton Live {Ableton}
  2. Max for Live (M4L) {Ableton; C74}
  3. MIRA iPad App {C74}

Intermediate/Advanced Max

See BAIN MUSC 540/737 Learning Max


Manzo, V.J. 2016. Max/MSP/Jitter for Music: A Practical Guide to Developing Interactive Music Systems for Education and More, 2nd ed. New York, Oxford. {GB; Full text: Ebook Central; Companion Website | EAMIR}

Manzo, V.J. and Will Kuhn. 2015. Interactive Composition: Strategies using Ableton Live and Max for Live. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; Full text: ProQuest}

Winkler, Todd. 1998/2001. Composing Interactive Music: Techniques and Ideas Using Max. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}

Wright, Matt. 2017. Programming Max: Structuring Interactive Software for Digital Arts. Valencia, CA: Kadenze. Available online at: <>.

Updated: October 10, 2021

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music