2007 ATMI National Conference
Salt Lake City, UT

November 16, 2007

Teaching Tuning Theory
with SuperCollider 3

Reginald Bain, Professor
Composition and Theory
School of Music
University of South Carolina
813 Assembly St.
Columbia, SC 29208 USA


SuperCollider 3 (SC3) is a real-time audio synthesis programming language and environment for algorithmic composition by James McCartney. A former Mac-only commercial product, it is now being developed by the open source community under a GNU General Public License for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows. This paper presentation will introduce the SC3 application using code examples that demonstrate how to create simple tuning theory applications. The applications are distributed as Rich Text Format (.rtf) files that, when loaded into SC3, merge formatted explanatory text, image, and audio synthesis code. Highlight the code, press the ‘enter’ key, and SC3 renders the audio, which may be manipulated in real-time by the user.


Presentation Handout (pdf)


For current SuperCollider resources, see BAIN MUSC 540 Learning SuperCollider


Bain, Reginald. 2004. "Designing Computer-Assisted Instruction Software for Music Theory with Max/MSP." Association
for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI) 2004
national conference, paper presentation. San Francisco, CA.

____________. 2002. "A Web-based Multimedia Approach to the Harmonic Series." Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI) 2002 national conference, paper presentation. Kansas City, MO.

Collins, Nick. "Workshop Materials for G6002 Computational Music 1 at the University of Sussex. Available online
at: <http://www.informatics.sussex.ac.uk/users/nc81/courses/cm1/workshop.html>. Link no longer available.

Cottle, David Michael. 2005. Computer Music with Examples in SuperCollider 3. Available from the author.
Now available at: <https://supercollider.github.io/tutorials/>.

Pierce, John R. 1992. The Science of Musical Sound, Revised Edition. New York: Scientific American Books, 1992.

Updated: July 22, 2021

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music