Computer Music

The Computer Music program emphasizes research in new techniques for electronic music composition and performance, catalyzed through an active concert program emphasizing new works by students, faculty, and visitors.

  • new audio synthesis techniques
  • audio signal processing
  • music cognition
  • live improvisation with and by computers
  • integrating audio and video
  • electronic spatialization of sounds
  • techniques for live electronic music performance
  • computer music software and HCI design
  • audio analysis and feature detection

The Computer Music program encourages work that overlaps with the other programs of study: Composition, Integrative Studies (IS), and Performance. Analyzing and performing electronic music repertoire as well as writing new music involving electronics are encouraged.

The first year Computer Music curriculum is centered on a year-long "backbone" course covering the essentials of the computer music field. This material divides naturally into three portions (audio signal processing, compositional algorithms, and musical cognition). In their second year, students work individually with faculty members to deepen their mastery of their areas of concentration. For example, a student wishing to focus on signal processing aspects might study techniques for digital audio analysis and resynthesis, drawing on the current research literature. Also during the first two years, students take seminars on musical analysis, composition, and performance practice. Having completed a critical mass of such subjects, Ph.D. students enter a qualifying examination preparation period, and, once successful, begin their dissertation research.

UCSD's Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) offers an ideal research environment for graduate students in this area. The Music Department also provides extensive laboratory and computing support for Computer Music.