My Music Book

I was on sabbatical for the 2001-2002 academic year (not a bad time to be away from New York, yikes!). I figured that one of the things professors in fields like music did during a sabbatical was write books, so I decided to write one. I also decided that the computer music field didn't really need another pedagogical treatise; my book would be a set of personal observations about listening and doing music.

The problem was that I'm not really an author, I'm a composer. However, I did notice that I like to listen to music while I read, and I thought "hey, I'll make a book with a soundtrack!". My Music Book is the result. The tricky part was getting the music to 'track' what was being read at different rates, so that the sound playing would reflect the text at the appropriate time no matter how quickly the book was being read. I used Phil Burk's JSyn to build an integrated text/music application. The music is algorithmically-generated, running continuously with the text.

What happened after I wrote My Music Book ultimately led to this web site (i.e. putting it all on-line). After attempting in vain to locate a literary agent or publisher willing to try marketing a CD-ROM/book (innumerable happy rejections!), I discovered that I really don't have the drive of an author to keep flogging myself on the "publishing road". Or my prose may be as bad as I fear in my more depressed moments... But I like the music! Honest!

So I decided to put the whole thing on-line, and hopefully a few more people might enjoy it beyond my immediate set of friends and family. Unfortunately in its present form, My Music Book is a fairly substantial download (400+ Mbytes). But heck, these new-fangled computer networks are getting faster every day. Ultimately I decided to put a lot of material on-line, including My Music Book. In any case, here it is:

NOTE: The above "demo" versions contain all sections except for the five music pieces in chapter 6. These are the same as the Small Pieces on my music page. I can set up a download of these files if you'd like.

These worked on the various platforms the last time I checked (at least as recent as November, 2007). I also have an older Macintosh OS9 ("classic") version if for some reason you'd like to have it.

Let me know what you think of My Music Book! I hope you enjoy it.

Brad Garton
garton - at -