University of California, Irvine

Music 152


Thursday April 4:

NO class meeting.

Friday April 5:

Attend the Gassmann Electronic Music Series lecture demonstration "Finding the Instrument Within" by cellist Hugh Livingston at 12:00 noon in Room 216 of the Music and Media Building.

For Tuesday April 9:

1) Read the article "Music Programming" on the web. The ideas in this article may seem very simple (in some ways they are; the article was written to be as clear and simple as possible), but they will provide a common starting point for ideas and terminology.

2) Read the excerpt from Donald Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things" on reserve under "Dobrian" in the Arts Media Center (upstairs in the Art Instruction Technology Resource Center). What are the recurring points he stresses?

3) Read the "Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines" also on reserve in the AMC. These are from the first edition, when the Macintosh operating system was first designed. This is a pretty long document, and the point is not to read every detail and memorize every rule of the guidelines. Rather, the point is to consider what issues they deemed important, what paradigms they used to guide their software implementations, and what solutions they found. (These guidelines were the result of a lot of research in the area of human user interface.)

4) Come to class ready to discuss the main points you derived from each of these three articles. To that end, I highly recommend that you take notes while you read, and then compile your notes into a written summary. This will help you draw relationships between the various points. (If you want to hand that in to me to demonstrate how hard you thought about it, so much the better.)

5) Do your own private study of an interactive computer system you encounter in your life: a voicemail system, an ATM, an information kiosk, a web site, an artwork, anything in which you are called upon to "interact" with a computer. Examine it from Norman's standpoint of design concerns. Examine it from your own impression of ease of use, efficacy, and pleasure of use. Any ingenious ideas contained therein? Any blatant failures? How could it be improved? Be prepared to describe this to the class and discuss its good and bad points. (Again, if you want to write this down and hand it in to me, so much the better.)

For Thursday April 11:

Come to class prepared to discuss your creative impetus for taking the class, and your initial ideas for a term project.

For Tuesday April 16:

Work through as many of the Max Tutorials as you can. Read the tutorial text in the document "Max4TutorialsAnd Topics.pdf" in the Max:Documentation folder of any computer that has Max on it, and simultaneously view the Max Tutorial patch (in the Max:Tutorials:Max Tutorial folder) for the chapter you're reading. Try to get through the first 18 tutorials. Come to class prepared to ask questions about issues you have encountered in Max.

For Thursday April 18:

Continue working on the Max Tutorials. Devise a small and simple musical task, as was done in Tuesday's class (e.g., programming the computer to perform a crescendo and diminuendo), figure out what steps the computer will need to take to perform that task, find the Max objects that can perform those steps, and build a Max patch that completes the task.

For Tuesday April 23:

Read the articles "How Digital Audio Works" and "How MSP Works" in the MSP2.pdf manual (in Acrobat format in the Max:Documentation folder of any computer that has Max on it). Hard copy of these documents can be found on reserve under "Dobrian 152" at the Arts Media Center. The first article, "How Digital Audio Works", can also be found online under the title "Digital Audio".

Work through as many chapters of the MSP Tutorial (in "MSP2.pdf") as you can. The accompanying tutorial patches are in the Max:Tutorials:MSP Tutorial folder. Try to get through the first 18 tutorials. You can omit tutorial chapters 4, 5, 6, 12, 15, and 17.

Write a Max/MSP patch that permits you to play two or more different sound files by playing keys on the MIDI keyboard. If you can, try to think of a good way to change the speed of playback based on what MIDI key you're playing. (This is addressed in MSP Tutorial 20.)

Begin teaching yourself about Director by reading the "Using Director" section of Director Help. Open the Director application, choose "Director Help" from the Help menu, and then click on "Using Director". You can also get an overview of what Director can do by visiting the Macromedia web site. There are many more tutorials and examples to be found there.

For Thursday April 25:

Continue working on tutorials and lessons in one of the three main environments presented so far: Max (the Max Tutorials), MSP (the MSP Tutorials), and Director (the Using Director instructions).

For Tuesday April 30:

Create a short Director animation that includes bitmap graphics, vector graphics, and text, and that employs at least one "behavior" (Lingo script) for interactivity and/or navigation. Bring it to class on a Zip disk or CD to present it to the class.

Prepare a brief (8-minute) presentation of your creative term project, showing as much footage as you can (images, video, sounds, MIDI files, whatever), outlining your creative goal, and presenting your plan and timeline for completion. Your project can (and no doubt will) continue to evolve and change in the next few weeks, but this presentation should be a concerted effort to devise an artistic (or technical) statement, collect materials, and make a plan of action.

Wednesday May 1:

Attend the Gassmann Electronic Music Series concert "California Exchange" at 8:00 pm in Winifred Smith Hall.

Thursday May 2:

Demonstration of video processing. No assignment.

For Tuesday May 7:

Read "Principles for Designing Computer Music Controllers" by Perry Cook, available at the Arts Media Center.

Thursday May 9:

Demonstration by Michael Zbyszynski. No assignment.

Tuesday May 14:

Discussion of term projects.

For Thursday May 16:

Read "How Time Passes" by Karlheinz Stockhausen, "The Problem of Temporal Experience" from On the Experience of Time by Robert Ornstein, and "Free Stochastic Music" from Formalized Music by Iannis Xenakis. Come to class prepared to discuss the primary points expressed in each article.

For Tuesday May 21:

Read "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" by Alan Turing and "Minds, Brains, and Programs" by John Searle. Be prepared to summarize their arguments pro and con the existence of "artificial intelligence", and to discuss the difference between algorithmic/numerical generation of art as discussed in the May 16 class and the idea of an "expert system" as implied by Turing and Searle.

Wednesday May 22:

Attend the Gassmann Electronic Music Series concert "Birds without feet (cannot land)" by Laetitia Sonami at 8:00 pm in Winifred Smith Hall.

Thursday May 23:

Presentation in class by Laetitia Sonami.

Attend the Humanitech discussion "What does it mean to be human in a digital culture?", a "fireside chat" with composers Thomas Dolby and George Lewis at 7:30 pm in Lecture Hall 100 of the Humanities Instruction Building.

For Tuesday May 28:

Demonstrate your work in progress for your term project. This must be an actual demonstration of quasi-working interactive software, not "vaporware" projections of what you intend to do. You should also have a definite timeline and plan for completion of the project by June 6.

For Thursday May 30:

Last chance to hand in your realization of the Max/MSP assignment of April 23 and the Director assignment of April 30.

For Tuesday June 4:

For Thursday June 6:

Christopher Dobrian
May 14, 2002