Music 271a/b. Survey of Electronic Music Techniques I/II
Fall quarter 2009 and Winter quarter 2010. University of California, San Diego

Meetings: Wednesdays, 2:00-4:50, CPMC 367
Instructor: Professor Miller Puckette, CPMC 251, 858-534-4823,,
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:00-2:00PM in the music chair's office

This is the first of a three-quarter sequence exploring the role of electronics in new music. This quarter is designed tointroduce a range of electronic music possibilities without going too deeply down any one path. We'll look at nine important pieces in the electronic music repertory. In some cases we look at an implementation of the entire piece; for others, a study 'patch' demonstrates the techniques used.

Each class session is divided into two parts: first, a look at a technique and piece using a pre-prepared patch, and second, a workshop on patch design that, if followed for the three quarters, should prepare students to realize their own ideas.

A tentative list of pieces (and techniques):

Chowning, Stria (microtonal scales)
Stockhausen, Mantra (ring modulation)
Tenney, Collage #1 (classic montage)
Risset, Duet for One Pianist (MIDI transformation)
Harvey, Mortuous Plango, Vivos Voco (sinusoidal analysis/additive synthesis)
Manoury, Pluton (several real-time audio processing techniques)
Boulez, Dialogue de l'Ombre Double (spatialization)
Steiger, 13 loops (using instrumental ensembles)
Yuasa, Toward the Midnight Sun (graphical score notation)

The term assignment is either to: (a) develop one of these easy-to-use patches into your own musical sketch; or (b) make your own patch that implements some other known technique (but talk to the prof first to make sure your idea looks feasible). You can download the patches to run them on your own Mac, PC, or linux machine. To do this, get version 0.42 of Pd (available on . Then get the PDRP patches from: .

Here is documentation for the patches.

Here are patches from:
Don't miss Ben Hackbarth's Pd workshop notes.