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Elements of Computer Music 1st Edition
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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.
The ideas and algorithms discussed in this book are largely timeless, and that is why I still use my copy a great deal even 16 years after it was published. However, I will knock a single star off of my rating for the fact that the author's program, CMusic, is enshrouded in secrecy. The author will tell you how to use it, what functions are in it, etc. However, even now, the source code for it is not freely available. If you are working on a Windows platform the best you can do is find a monolithic .exe program that works best under DOS and can crash under Windows. And because I don't have access to the source code, I have no idea why this happens. If Mr. Moore had been a little more "open source" in his attitude towards CMusic, it might have caught on more than it ultimately did. Don't let this problem prevent you from buying the book, though. It is one of the best written books on computer music that I have ever read and it has many good ideas in it, and I do recommend it for anyone interested in computer music.
Because Amazon does not show the detailed table of contents, I show it here:
1.1 Musical Data & Processes
1.2 Musical Thought
1.8 The Disciplinary Context of Computer Music
2 Digital Audio
2.1 Sound Representations
2.2 Sound Digitization
2.3 Spectrum Measurements
2.4 Digital Filters
3.1 Representing Instruments
3.3 Additive Synthesis
3.5 Subtractive Synthesis and Physical Models
4.1 Concert Halls
4.2 Spatial Hearing
4.3 Early Echo Response
4.5 Sound Spatialization
4.6 Other Issues
5.1 Computer-mediated Composition
5.2 Music Representations
5.3 Random Numbers
5.4 Random Sieves
5.5 Markov Processes
5.6 Noise, Filters, Random Numbers, and Probability
5.7 Compositional Algorithms
Appendix A- Mathematics
Appendix B- Units of Measure
Appendix C- Tuning
Appendix D- cmusic
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.