Manning Early
Access Program
Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists
Creating music with ChucK


Ajay Kapur, Perry Cook, Spencer Salazar, and Ge Wang

MEAP Began: September 2013
Softbound print: November 2014 (est.) | 300 pages
ISBN: 9781617291708

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Table of Contents, MEAP Chapters & Resources

Table of Contents         Resources 
  0 Introduction: ChucK Programming for Artists - FREE
  1 Basics: Sound, Waves, and ChucK Programming - AVAILABLE
  2 Libraries: ChucK's Built-in Tools - AVAILABLE
  3 Arrays: Arranging and Accessing Your Compositional Data - AVAILABLE
  4 Sound Files and Sound Manipulation - AVAILABLE
  5 Functions: Making Our Own Tools - AVAILABLE
  6 Unit Generators: ChucK Objects for Sound Synthesis and Processing - AVAILABLE
  7 Synthesis ToolKit Instruments - AVAILABLE
  8 Multi-Threading and Concurrency: Running Many Programs at Once - AVAILABLE
  9 Objects and Classes: Making our own ChucK Power Tools - AVAILABLE
10 Events: Signalling Between Shreds, and Syncing to the Outside World - AVAILABLE
11 Integrating with Other Systems via MIDI, OSC, Serial, and More - AVAILABLE

  A Installing ChucK and miniAudicle - AVAILABLE
  B Library Functions, Std, Math, Other - AVAILABLE
  C Unit Generators - AVAILABLE
  D Network Communication with Open Sound Control - AVAILABLE
  F Serial I/O - AVAILABLE
  G ChucK on the Command Line - AVAILABLE


While many excellent tools exist for digital image creation and editing, similar tools for manipulating sound with precise timing and control are few and far between. ChucK, an audio-centric programming language, opens new vistas for sound artistry. The ChucK language provides precise high-level control over time, audio computation, and user interface elements like track pads and joysticks. Because ChucK uses the vocabulary of sound, it's easy to learn even for artists with little or no exposure to computer programming. Stable and reliable, ChucK powered the first SMule music apps and is the backbone of dozens of academic programs and laptop orchestras. This book is the first to systematically document and teach this powerful language.

Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists: Creating Music with ChucK offers a complete introduction to programming in the open source music language ChucK. In it, you'll learn the basics of digital sound creation and manipulation while you discover the ChucK language. As you move example-by-example through this easy-to-follow book, you'll create meaningful and rewarding digital compositions and "instruments" that make sound and music in direct response to program logic, scores, gestures, and other systems connected via MIDI or the network. You'll also experience how the immediacy of ChucK programming enables the on-the-fly musical improvisation practiced by communities of "live music coders" around the world.

Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists: Creating Music with ChucK is part of MEAP, the Manning Early Access Program. Through MEAP, you read books as they're written. When you purchase this book, you'll be able to download all the chapters currently available, as indicated in the Table of Contents above. We'll notify you when new or updated chapters become available, and you'll get the final book the instant it's ready.


Because this book teaches both digital sound control and the ChucK programming language, no experience with computer programming is required. It helps to be familiar with the basic concepts and vocabulary of sound and music.


Ajay Kapur is currently the Director of the Music Technology program (MTIID) at the California Institute of the Arts, as well as the Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts. Kapur is also a Senior Lecturer in the Sonic Engineering Labs for Creative Technology (SELCT) at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He has also published over 80 technical papers and presented lectures across the world on music technology, human computer interface for artists, robotics for making sound, and modern digital orchestras.

Perry R. Cook served as Stanford's Technical Director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, until joining the faculty of Princeton University in 1996 as a Professor of Computer Science, with a joint appointment in music. Along with working for companies such as NeXT Inc., Media Vision, Xenon/Chromatic, Interval Research, and mobile music App giant SMule, Cook has published over 200 technical and music papers and has lectured worldwide on the acoustics of the voice and musical instrument simulation, human perception of sound, and interactive devices for expressive musical performance. He is also the author of the Synthesis Toolkit in C++ (STK), and co-author of the ChucK audio programming language.

Spencer Salazar is a doctoral student at the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), researching computer-based forms of music performance and experience. He has created interfaces for ChucK, developed prototype consumer electronics, architected large-scale social music interactions for SMule, composed for laptop and mobile phone ensembles, and taught numerous workshops on computer music topics.

Ge Wang is the creator and chief architect of the ChucK audio programming language. He is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) where his research includes programming languages and interactive software systems for computer music, mobile and social music, new performance ensembles paradigms (e.g., live coding), interfaces for human-computer interaction, musical visualization, and methodologies for education at the intersection of computer science and music. Ge is also the co-founder of mobile music startup SMule (over 100 million users) and the designer of the iPhone's Ocarina and Magic Piano.


This Early Access version of Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists enables you to receive new chapters as they are being written. You can also interact with the authors to ask questions, provide feedback and errata, and help shape the final manuscript on the Author Online forum.


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