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Elements of Computer Music 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132525527
ISBN-10: 0132525526
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This is a general introduction to the theory of computer music, giving details on sound, digital signal processing, math, and C programming. It assumes a strong knowledge of music.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (February 19, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132525526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132525527
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for anyone interested in using computers to extend the boundaries of music. The reader should already be familiar with computer programming and with music as this book treats these subjects together. It is assumed that the reader is musically literate at the level of being able to read and write common practice music notation. The author says that the reader should be familiar with mathematics at the level of high school trigonometry and algebra. However, I think that the reader should also be familiar with digital signal processing, as this book does not take too much time and space to introduce the subject and much of the book relies heavily on DSP concepts and structures.

After a brief introduction, chapter 2 of the book takes the reader on a wild ride through the world of digital audio, starting with simple representation of sound via sinusoids, through ADC and DAC issues, and concluding with a discussion of both IIR and FIR digital filters with some programming examples in C. Chapter 3 builds on the ideas in chapter 2 and shows the reader how to use digital filtering concepts to build structures that simulate musical instruments. The author also introduces his own programming environment for computer music, CMusic. Chapter 4 is all about spatial hearing, direction cues, echoes and reverberation, and the mathematical modeling of all of these phenomena. Chapter 5, "Composing", talks about algorithmic composition via random numbers, Markov processes, and noise. This is probably the chapter that depends the most on the reader having musical maturity. The appendices have a nice treatment of mathematics and of CMusic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The range of subjects it covers is vast and they are presented in a simple manner. It's a Classic!!!
That said, If I had to choose a single book on the subject, it wouldn't be this one. This is more of a complementary and introductory book to some principles to computer music. The information in it is outdated, and while most principles still apply, there are many more newer books that excel at explaining the many concepts.
As a complement to other books in the subject, I highly recommend it. It's a must have for anyone serious about computer music as it provides a great historical perspective to computer music.
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