Interactive Music Systems

Fall 2019

Instructors - Grigore Burloiu & Stefan Damian

Credits - 4 ECTS

Course Objectives

Students in this course will:

  • gain proficiency in computer music and live electronics design
  • understand different sound interaction paradigms
  • deal with tempo, timing and repetition in synchronisation-intensive situations
  • design open time-based systems, connected to related media (visual, movement, datastreams etc)

Course Structure

This course will be comprised of 13 weekly classes and 1 final project/essay. Additionally, there will be small weekly homework assignments, which we will go over and build upon in class. Homework assignments will often be supplemented by reading unless otherwise noted.

The grading breakdown is as follows:

  • Weekly homework studies (80%): to be published on Classroom by the due date. Each assignment is graded out of 10. Grading: 0 (missing) - 4 (superficial attempt) - 8 (complete) - 10 (extra). Every 7 days' delay detracts one point. Maximum accumulated points is 80, out of a potential 12*10 = 120 points.
  • Final project (20%): each project is individual, and can be any application showing creative skills and design clarity, or an essay around a relevant topic.


All code prepared for the class is available here.


  • Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic, by Curtis Roads.
  • Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music, and Culture, by Thom Holmes.
  • Interactive Music Systems, by Robert Rowe. Link.
  • Antescofo Documentation, by Arshia Cont, Jean-Louis Giavitto et al. Link.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music, by Roger T Dean.

Class Schedule

2019 students: go to Google Classroom. 2018 syllabus is archived below.

This schedule is subject to change depending on the interests and pace of the class, etc.

Week 1 (11.10): Introduction to interactive music systems. Basic definitions and historical context.

  • Slides
  • Reading: Interactive Music Systems, ch1

Week 2 (25.10): (Presenter: Ștefan Damian) Interactive computer music.

Week 3 (8.11): Reactive programming for sound & music.

Week 4 (15.11): (Presenter: Ștefan Damian) Antescofo basics.

  • Slides
  • Assignment: explore Antescofo tutorial patches.

Week 5 (29.11): Action loops.

Week 6 (13.12): Tracking external variables.

Week 7 (20.12): Synchronisation strategies. Project proposals.

Week 8 (17.01): Final project discussions.

Final (21.01): Final Project Presentations.
All materials are due (via email) by the day of the exam. Projects will be graded on:

  • implementation and/or review of a concept/area/technique in interactive music systems
  • clarity of the oral presentation
  • 1-3 page project report
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