Computational Techniques for Music Generation
(Computer School of Rock)
Spring 2017

John C. Lusth

Revision Date: January 12, 2017

Printable Version


This is a special class in human-assisted, computer generated music. We will explore the art of synthesizing music from sets of instrument samples. In addition to the music you program, you will be adding vocals with a state-of-the-art 24 bit/96kHz professional recording system.

Here is the syllabus.

Office Hours

Dr. John Lusth, 3427 SEC,
Office Hours: click here

The Computer School of Rock

The Computer School of Rock is a hands-on course for Computer Scientists with a little bit of musical ability. You will start small, programming some simple drum lines and guitar riffs. Eventually, you will use these results to compose a full-fledged songs. Each student will be in charge of producing three songs, You may barter your skills with other students. For example, suppose you become proficient at drum programming. A good drummer is very hard to find so your skills will be in great demand. You might compose the drum line for another student's song in exchange for lyrics or harmonies for your song. Or you may choose to compose, program, and sing/speak your song alone. The choice on how you produce your song is up to you.

Nearly all the software used to produce your music has been written by previous participants in this class. In addition to your music composition/programming tasks, you might wish to augment the songlib software in some important way. You may also record instrument samples for placement in the songlib free sound repository.

The following talents will be needed for the course:

Note that the ability to play an instrument or read music is not strictly necessary (but it will help).