Composing with Computers I (Electronic Music Composition)

Collage of photos: audio processors, MIDI keyboard connected to computer, screenshot of Max/MSP, and a pastel drawing.

Hardware, software and compositional aids used in the class. (Photos by Peter Whincop.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2008



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This class explores sound and what can be done with it. Sources are recorded from students' surroundings - sampled and electronically generated (both analog and digital). Assignments include composing with the sampled sounds, feedback, and noise, using digital signal processing (DSP), convolution, algorithms, and simple mixing. The class focuses on sonic and compositional aspects rather than technology, math, or acoustics, though these are examined in varying detail. Students complete weekly composition and listening assignments; material for the latter is drawn from sound art, experimental electronica, conventional and non-conventional classical electronic works, popular music, and previous students' compositions.

Related Content

Peter Whincop. 21M.361 Composing with Computers I (Electronic Music Composition), Spring 2008. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.