Introduction to Computer Music

An Electronic Textbook

Prof. Jeffrey Hass




Learn the properties of sound such as amplitude and frequency, and how they are perceived by us.

studio gear


Learn about microphone types, patterns and techniques, mixers, and signal processing.



Learn the INs and OUTs and THRUs of MIDI and the code scheme that makes it work.



Waveforms, filters and patching. Techniques like FM modulation in detail. Intro to digital synth languages.

digital audio


Learn about digital sampling, synthesis and recording, how a D-to-A converter works, and more.



Learn about the brief history of electronic music, instruments and literature via a timeline.



Paper & online texts, pitch-frequency-MIDI chart, electricity primer, and edu & professional links.

About This Textbook

The Introduction to Computer Music was initially designed as an online text for first-year study of computer music. This e-book aspires to present information in sufficient depth to be useful to composers, beginning audio engineers and other musicians, professional or otherwise, interested in making music with technology. The first edition of this text was begun in 2004 with an Indiana University Instructional Development Grant and has served our electronic studio resources course for nearly twenty years as it grew and expanded. This new edition now encompasses all the topics of the old edition, and new topics are being added from time to time, so do check back.

My thanks to Prof John Gibson, now serving as Director of the IU Center for Electronic and Computer Music, for his advice in making both the old and new editions of this work better. These pages are free to all for learning and teaching, and if adopted on an external site, I merely ask for acknowledgment of my authorship. The site uses not only traditional hyperlinks (some of which may in time become dead, so some searching might be required), but also pop-up text that is indicated by a dashed underline and may be hovered over to see the information or image.

About the Author:

Jeffrey Hass (D.M. Composition and Electronic Music, Indiana University), composer and educator, has taught electronic music for nearly forty years as Director of the Indiana University Center for Electronic and Computer Music and is now retired. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he continues to create and compose.