Aesthetics, Algorithms, Sound. Music Programming with Sonic Pi

Seminar | Leuphana University |Minor Digital Media | Advanced Digital Media Production|bi-weekly | Wednesday | 09:45 – 14:15 |

Sonic Pi is a code-based music creation and performance tool

Simple enough for computing and music lessons.
Powerful enough for professional musicians.
Free to download with a friendly tutorial.

(Sam Aaron)

Sonic Pi is an open source programming tool for creating music. Sonic Pi was developed in 2013 by Sam Aaron at the University of Cambridge – originally to teach concepts of programming in schools. The focus is on the creative exploration of music – concepts of programming are taught on the side.

Sonic Pi contains a library of different synthesizers, samples and sound effects. External sound files can be integrated, combined and manipulated. Sonic Pi is based on the programming language Ruby and thus allows the control of the flow of samples and sounds. The software is constantly being developed and is now used in various contexts.

In the seminar we will work practically with Sonic Pi. The focus will be on the joy of experimentation with sounds, rhythms and structures. We will start with simple musical ideas, which we will develop step by step; in this manner we will acquire the necessary programming skills.

Furthermore, the seminar offers the opportunity to examine the following questions and topics:

  • What is (musical) creativity? How does it work (or not work)?
  • Computer generated music (examples, history)
  • Basic concepts of music theory (e.g. melody, harmony, rhythm)
  • Basic concepts of acoustics and digital sound production (synthesizer, sampling)
  • Combinations with Midi and O(pen)S(ound)C(ontrol)

Further information on this seminar is available in German.