University of South Carolina
School of Music

BAIN MUSC 540/(737)
(Advanced) Projects in Computer Music

Spring 2024

C O U R S E   P H A S E S
1. Project Planning
2. Research and
3. Project Execution
4. Presentation
Triangle Final Report


Thanks for a great semester!


Dr. Reginald Bain, Professor
Composition and Theory
(803) 777-8183
Music Building, R227


Directed study in computer music composition or research


MUSC 336 Introduction to Computer Music


Spring 2024 Syllabus (pdf) Updated icon

Mutational Music Project

NSF iconThis unique beyond-the-classroom experience is an ongoing collaboration with DUDYCHA BIOL 599 Topics in Biology: Chords & Codons that involves research and creative activity that lies at the intersection of genetics and algorithmic composition. It is part of the Mutational Music Project – a collaboration between Jeff Dudycha (Department of Biological Sciences) and Reginald Bain (School of Music) that is the broader impact component of the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant Mutational variance of the transcriptome and the origins of phenotypic plasticity (NSF award #1556645).


Computer Music Studios

  1. Studio B: Music Building, Room 011
  2. Studio A: Experimental Computer Music Studio (xMUSE), Music Building, Room 039

MUSC 540/737 Learning Tutorial Links

Music Tech News

  1. Create Digital Music (CDM): Stories
  2. IRCAM: Forumnet; Magazine; Twitter
  3. Mac: MacWorld; MacRumors
  4. MIT: Media Lab; Music Technology News
  5. Music Tech: News
  6. Music Radar: Tech News
  7. New Music Box
  8. NYTimes: Art, Science & Technology
  9. Scoring Notes: News
  10. SoundOnSound: Latest News
  11. Sweetwater's InSync
  12. Wired: Latest News

News, Current Topics, Ideas, Items of Interest, etc.

  1. Ableton Live 12 {SOS}
  2. Max 8.6: Samplers, gamepads, colors, Max for Live, and more {CDM}
  3. Learning Lumatone video series {Website; YouTube Channel}
  4. Modartt PianoTeq 8 {SOS}
  5. Amanda Hoover, AI-Generated Music is About to Flood Streaming Platforms {Wired}
  6. Science Friday
  7. Long-awaited MuseScore 4 release brings major improvements to engraving and audio {ScoringNotes}
  8. Peter Kirn
  9. Tutorial: OpenMusic 6.18 {IRCAM}
  10. Steven Wolfram, How to teach computational thinking {}
  11. Learning Music Online

Open Access Books

Burk, et al., Music and Computers logoBurk, Phil, Larry Polansky, Douglas Repetto, Mary Roberts and Dan Rockmore. 2011.
      Music and Computers: A Theoretical and Historical Approach
      Archival Version. {}

Downey, Allen B. {}

Hass, Jeffrey. 2020. Introduction to Computer Music: An Electronic Textbook. {}

Hermann, T., A. Hunt and J. G. Neuhoff, eds. 2011. The Sonification Handbook. Berlin: Logos Publishing House. {Logos}

OpenStax. 2019. Biology, 2/e. Houston: Rice University. {}

Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd). World Scientific Press. {html | pdf | GB}

Rowe, Robert. 1993. Interactive Music Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {}

Severence, Charles. 2016. Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3. Available online at:

Smus, Boris. 2013. Web Audio API. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media. {}

Wolfram, Stephen. 2002. A New Kind of Science. Champaign-Urbana, IL: Wolfram Media. {Wolfram}


Phillips, Scott L. 2013. Beyond Sound: The College and Career Guide in Music Technology. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Be sure to check out SPARK: The USC School of Music's Leadership Laboratory

Spark logo


  1. Kadenza: Welcome to the Future of STEAM Education
  2. Coursera: Music Courses
  3. EdX
  4. iTunes U
  5. MIT OpenCourseWare
  6. Kahn Academy
  7. Socratica
  8. Udacity


  1. Blogs
  2. Podcasts



Risset, Jean-Claude. Computer Music: Why? {}
Roads, Curtis. 2015. Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic. New York: Oxford. {GB}
___________. 2004. Microsound. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}
Wishart, Trevor. 1996/2016. On Sonic Art. New York: Routledge. {GB}
____________. 1994. Audible Design: A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Sound Composition. Amsterdam: Orpheus the Pantomime Ltd. {GB}

Algorithmic Composition
Ariza, Christopher. 2005. An Open Design for Computer-Aided Algorithmic Music Composition. Boca Raton, FL: {GB}
Herremans D., Chuan C.-H., Chew E. 2017. "A Functional Taxonomy of Music Generation Systems." ACM Computing Surveys 50/5. {Pre-print}
Dobrian, Chistopher. 2008. "Algorithmic Composition Blog: A journal of short lessons on the topic of algorithmic composition." {}
Essl, Karlheinz. 2017. "Algorithimic Composition." In The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, 2nd ed., Nick Collins and Julio d'Escrivan, eds. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}
Nierhaus, Gerhard. 2009. Paradigms of Automated Music Generation. New York: Springer. {GB}

See also: BAIN MUSC 540 Mutational Music Project: Algorithmic Composition

Pure Data iconGetting Starting with Max/MSP
– See Max Project Ideas
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 | Oxford | Companion Website | EAMIR}
Rowe, Robert. Interactive Music Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {NYU}
Winkler, Todd. 2001. Composing Interactive Music: Techniques and Ideas Using Max. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {GB}

Getting Started w/ Pure Data (Pd) – See

Getting Started w/ DAWs

The MusicRadar Team (Production Expo). 2015. "The 20 best DAW software apps in the world today" Music Radar (September 2015). {Music Radar}

Abelton Live | Acid Pro | Cubase | Digital Performer | Reason | Logic | ProTools | Reaper | Sonar

Computational Music Analysis

Cuthbert, M. S., and C. Ariza. 2010. "music21: A toolkit for computer-aided musicology and symbolic music data."
In Proceedings of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval, Miami, FL: 637–642. {DSpace@MIT

Meredith, David, ed. 2016. Computational Music Analysis. New York: Spring. {GB}

Tymoczko, Dmitri. 2013. "Review of Michael Cuthbert, 'Music21: a Toolkit for Computer-aided Musicology.'" Music Theory Online 19/3 (August 2013). {MTO}


  1. Music21
  2. Humdrum Toolkit

Laptop/Mobile Performance

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

  1. TOPLAP: The home of live coding {Website}
  2. Princeton Laptop Orchestra {Website}
  3. Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra {Website}
  4. Puckette, Pd Repertory Project {Website}
See also: Learning Live Coding


Gann, Kyle. 2019. The Arithmetic of Listening: Tuning Theory and History for the Impractical Musician. Champaign-Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. {GB; Audio Examples

  1. Kyle Gann, 
  2. Marc Sabat, Music & Writings
  3. Elaine Walker
  4. Advanced
  5. Software/Tools

Music & Mathematics

See BAIN MUSC 525 Music and Mathematics Bibliography {MUSC 525}

  1. The Bridges Organization: Art and Mathematics {Bridges}
  2. MusMat: Brazilian Journal of Music and Mathematics {MusMat}
  3. Journal of Mathematics and Music {Taylor & Francis; Music Library}
  4. Journal of Mathematics and the Arts {Taylor & Francis; Music Library}
  5. Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music {SMCM}

Music Notation

Philip Rothman and David MacDonald, ScoringNotes

  1. Professional notation software
  2. Free notation software
  3. Data Exchange
  4. Score Animation
  5. Advanced

Schankler, Isaac. 2013. Notational Alternatives: Beyond Finale and Sibelius. New Music Box (February 27, 2013). {New Music Box}

Music Technology: Teaching & Learning

Williams, David and Peter Webster. 2023. Experiencing Music Technology, 4/e. New York: Oxford. {; Oxford}

  1. Association for Technology in Music Instruction {ATMI}
  2. The Journal of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction {JATMI}
  3. Dammers & Williams,
  4. National Association for Music Education {NafME}
  5. Technology in Music Education {TI:ME}
  6. Journal of Music, Technology and Education {JMTE}


Hermann, et al., Sonification Handbook coverWhat is Sonification?
Burke, et al. 2011. "Sonification," in Music and Computers: A Theoretical and Historical Approach, Archival Version. {Website}

Sonification Handbook
Hermann, T., A. Hunt and J. G. Neuhoff, eds. 2011. The Sonification Handbook. Berlin: Logos Publishing House. {Website}


IRCAM Forumnet, Spat~ {IRCAM}

CIRMA (University of Torino), Virtual Electronic Poem Project {VEP}
A virtual reality reconstruction of Varese's Poème électronique (1957)

Boulez, Pierre and Andrew Gerzso. 1988. "Computers in Music." Scientific American Vol. 258, no. 4 (April 1988). {IRCAM}
Chowning, John. 1971. "The Simulation of Moving Sound Sources." Journal of the Audio Engineering Society Vol. 19/1: 2–6. {CCRMA}
Smalley, John. 2000. "[Stockhausen's] Gesang der Jünglinge [1955-56]: History and Analysis." {Columbia}

Synthesis, Audio Programming and Instrument Design

Introduction to Synthesis
Dodge, Charles and Thomas A. Jerse. 1997. Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition and Performance, 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer.
Moore, F. Richard. 1990. Elements of Computer Music. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd). World Scientific Press. {html | pdf | GB; PureData}

Audio Programming & Theory
Boulanger, Richard, and Victor Lazzarini, ed. 2010. The Audio Programming Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {Website}
Smith, Julius O. 2009. Introduction to Digital Filters. {CCRMA}
___________. 2009. Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). {CCRMA}
___________. 2018. Physical Audio Signal Processing. {CCRMA}
___________. 2018. Spectral Audio Signal Processing. {CCRMA}

Instrument Design
Lazzarini, Victor. 2017. Computer Music Instruments: Foundations, Design and Development. New York: Springer. {GB}

w/ Csound– See
Boulanger, Richard. 2000.The Csound Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. {Website}
Lazzarini, Victor , Steven Yi, John ffitch, Joachim Heintz, Øyvind Brandtsegg, and Iain McCurdy. 2016. Csound: A Sound and Music Computing System. New York: Springer. {GB}

w/ Chuck– See

Kapur, Ajay, Perry Cook, Spencer Salazar, and Ge Wang. 2015. Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists. Shelter Island, NY: Manning. {GB; Website}

w/ Max – See
Cipriani, Alessandro and Maurizio Giri. 2010. Electronic Music and Sound Design Theory and Practice with Max/MSP, Volume 1.
      Contemponet {Website}
Lyon, Eric. 2012. Designing Audio Objects for Max/MSP and Pd. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions.

w/ Pure Data (Pd) – See
Farnell, Andy. 2010. Designing Sound. Cambridge: MIT Press. {MIT Press}
Puckette, Miller. 2007. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music (With Examples in Pd). World Scientific Press. {html | pdf | GB; ; PureData}

w/ SuperCollider – See
Cottle, David Michael. 2009. Computer Music with Examples in SuperCollider 3. Salt Lake City, UT.
Wilson, Scott, David Cottle, and Nick Collins, ed. 2011. The SuperCollider Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Web Audio
Smus, Boris. 2013. Web Audio API. O'Reilly Media. Sebastopol, CA. {O'Reilly Atlas | Code Samples | GitHub}


  1. Abelton Live – Software and hardware for live music production, creation and performance
  2. AlloSphere Software Repository – UCSB's AlloSphere Research Group Software Repository
  3. Audacity – Freeware app for audio editing/recording
  4. ChucK – Open source programming language for real-time sound synthesis and music creation
  5. CDP (Composers Desktop Project) – Advanced sound transformation and editing
  6. Csound – Advanced audio processing, programming, synthesis, etc.
  7. DSP Quattro –  Audio editor
  8. Faust – A function programming language for sound synthesis and audio processing
  9. Final Cut Pro – Video editor
  10. Iannix – A graphical open-source sequencer for digital art
  11. Integra Live – Free, and easy to use, interactive audio processing
  12. JMSL – Java Music Specification Language API for composition, performance, and intelligent instrument design
  13. JSyn & PureJSyn – Sound API for Java
  14. Logic X – Apple's MIDI/Audio Sequencer/DAW
  15. Max (Max, MSP, Jitter, etc.): A graphical programming language for music and media
  16. Max for Live {Ableon; Cycling '74: Max 8 Documentation}
  17. Python – An easy-to-learn general purpose programming language
  18. Processing – A programming language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts
  19. ProTools – Digital audio recording and editing
  20. Pure Data (Pd) – An open source alternative to Max
  21. Reason – Software-based sampler, sequencer, and more
  22. SoundHack – A spectral sound processor for the Mac (convolution, mutation, spatialization)
  23. Sonic Visualiser - An application for viewing and analyzing the contents of music audio files
  24. SPEAR –  Sinusoidal partial editing analysis and resynthesis
  25. QLab – Live audio/video show control for Mac OS X
  26. SuperCollider – Real-time interactive audio synthesis and algorithmic composition {GitHub}


IRCAM Forum {Website; YouTube Channel

  1. ASAP {IRCAM Forum}
    A collection of audio plug-ins that allows transforming sound in a creative way.
  2. Modalys {IRCAM Forum}
    Create virtual music instruments with physical models, playing in real time
  3. OpenMusic {IRCAM Forum}
    A LISP-based visual programming environment for Computer Assisted Composition
  4. Orchidea {IRCAM Forum}
    Computer-assisted orchestration
  5. Spat {IRCAM Forum}
    Software suite for spatialization of sound signals in real-time intended for musical creation, postproduction, and live performances


  1. Sounds
  2. Videos


  1. Garritan
  2. Kontakt
  3. NotePerformer 4 – Artificial Intelligence-based playback engine for musical notation
  4. Vienna Symphonic Library


  1. Arduino
  2. Blackmagic
  3. Focusrite
  4. Google Glass {WP}
  5. MIDI {WP}
  6. M-Audio
  7. Monome
  8. MOTU
  9. OSC {WP}
  10. OSCulator
  11. Pre-Sonus
  12. Tonal Plexus
  13. Rewire{WP}
  14. Wii Remote {WP}
  15. Wacom

Computer Music Magazines

  1. Computer Music Magazine
  2. Create Digital Music
  3. Electronic Musician
  4. Keyboard Magazine
  5. MusicRadar
  6. MusicTech
  7. Sound on Sound
  8. Sweetwater InSync
  9. Synthtopia

Professional Societies & Conferences

  1. Acoustical Society of America {ASA}
  2. Association for Technology in Music Instruction {ATMI}
  3. Audio Engineering Society {AES}
  4. The Bridges Organization: Art and Mathematics {Bridges}
  5. International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art and Design {EvoMUSEART}
  6. International Association of Laptop Orchestras {IALO}
  7. International Community for Auditory Display {ICAD}
  8. International Computer Music Association {ICMA}
  9. International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression {NIME}
  10. International Society for Music Information Retreival {ISMIR}
  11. Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST)
  12. Loop Conference
  13. New Music USA
  14. New Music World {NMW}
  15. Society for Electroacoutic Music in the United States {SEAMUS}
  16. Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music {SMCM}
  17. Sound and Music Computing {SMC}

Journals and Conference Proceedings

  1. Bridges Conference Archives {Bridges Archive}
  2. Computer Music Journal {MIT Press; Music Library}
  3. Computing in Musicology {CCARH}
  4. Contemporary Music Review {Taylor & Francis}
  5. Csound Journal {}
  6. Interference {}
  7. International Conference on Auditory Display Proceedings {ICAD}
  8. International Computer Music Association (ICMA)
  9. Journal of Creative Music Systems {JCMS}
  10. Journal of Mathematics and Music {Taylor & Francis; Music Library}
  11. Journal of Mathematics and the Arts {Taylor & Francis; Music Library}
  12. Journal of Music, Technology & Education {Intellect Ltd.}
  13. Leonardo, Journal of Arts, Sciences and Technology {Leonardo}
  14. Leonardo Music Journal {LMJ; TCL}
  15. Music and Mathematics Journal {Taylor & Francis; Music Library}
  16. Music and Science {Sage}
  17. MusMat: Brazilian Journal of Music and Mathematics {MusMat}
  18. Organized Sound {Cambridge Core; Music Library}
  19. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences {PNAS}
  20. Social Studies of Science {Sage}
  21. Sound Studies {Taylor & Francis}

Research: Find It @ USC


See: Computer Music Journal, Computer Music Bibliography & Links {CMJ}

Updated: May 3, 2024

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music