Computer Music

Columbia University
Spring, 2000 -- G6611Y
Brad Garton and Chris Bailey

Hi there, and welcome to the continuation of the Computer Music class, started last fall as G6610X. Check the syllabus from that class for a relatively complete listing of what we did. We'll be running the class pretty much like last term, and although this doesn't build specifically on what we have already covered, it helps if you have been involved in what we have done. Because of the topics we'll be hitting this term, we will be meeting down at Prentis Hall a bit more often. I will note these meetings on the course syllabus as well as try to remind you in advance when this will be happening. Otherwise we'll plan on room 701 Dodge Hall, 5 PM to 8 PM on Tuesday evenings.

As before, we'll be doing a bit of coding in the class, but I doubt we'll get quite as involved during class as we did last term. Also, we plan to focus on several of your projects for class development, so be forewarned! There will be a number of guest speakers throughout the term -- we thought that worked fairly well last term.

Chris will probably be doing lab sessions for people who would like them on Thursdays again. Chris and I are also both available by appointment, or through e-mail, phone, whatever (see below for contact information). If you are feeling totally dazed and confused by the class, please let us know.

Like before, we will also be making a few assignments throughout the term. These will mainly be intended to stimulate further work and provoke additional exploration of the topics we hit. Grades will be based upon a final project: a finished piece of music, a computer application, a nifty new piece of research, ground-breaking visions, whatever. We'll talk more about this later in the term.

The studios will be shifting a lot during this term, and we also have some new staff around the Center to help out. We'll be keeping you posted in class about any significant changes.


The course syllabus is located here.

We'll be working to keep it up-to-date with class activities, and we even may have some assistance doing this during the term. Yay!

The class will be divided into three main sections. The first will concentrate on imagining and developing advanced interactive interfaces, the second will focus upon more esoteric research prpjects (following on some of what we discussed last term), and the final few weeks will be devoted to integrating what we've done as well as exploring projects you develop.

[Note: We will be password-protecting this syllabus at some point in the term because of potential copyright issues -- we will give out the password in class.]

Contact Information

The best way to reach us is through e-mail: or If the machines are in flames and our e-mail server is down, you can also contact me via: I will also be holding office hours from 10:00 AM-12:00 noon on Wednesdays. My office is room 807 Dodge Hall. It's always a good idea to make an appointment to see me, even during my purported office hours, because I often have to run around campus like a maniac doing maniacal, computer-music stuff. You can also call on the phone, but please refrain from calling my home much after 11:00 PM or my wife will mutter evil curses that will affect Your Future. Relevant phone numbers are:


Grades will be based mainly on the final project you do, and of course they will be completely subjective and based on our own personal whims -- so ya better treat us right!

Words from last term: Seriously, by this point in your career the last thing you should be worrying about is a grade. The main thing is to find something that you'd really like to do and then do it. Please don't try to impress us with your consummate knowledge and skill, we are more impressed by people who do things. Honest!

Hope you enjoy the class!