I could not be more proud of the performance of these freshmen enrolled in the Computers and the Quest for Beauty Learning Community this fall. These students did a great job! For more information about the College of Charleston’s First-Year Experience (FYE) visit our website at www.cofc.edu/fye and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. We still have seats available in some of our spring 2011 FYE course options!
December 13, 2010
First Laptop Orchestra Concert Held
On Friday, December 10, the College of Charleston presented a first in South Carolina – a laptop orchestra performance. Twenty students in computing in the arts classes programmed their laptops to “play” music and using their programming knowledge, they manipulated the music live during the performance.
The students used Python programming language and the jMusic library (developed in Australia) to instruct the computer on which notes to play, which instrument to play them with, how many times to repeat them, at what volume, and at what tempo, etc. They performed Terry Riley’s avant-garde 1964 composition “In C.”
“We are joining renowned universities like Stanford and Princeton in producing laptop orchestra performances,” says Bill Manaris, professor of computer science. “Off-the-shelf laptops come standard with an advanced audio synthesis card, which can mimic 128 different instruments. Advanced students can even ‘play’ several instruments at the same time, it really shows computing and the arts are a natural fit.”
The students are enrolled in MUSC 131 and CSCI 180, a First-Year Experience learning community which links two courses around an interdisciplinary theme. Working together, assistant professor Blake Stevens teaches music appreciation (including music reading and writing) and professor Bill Manaris teaches computer science programming. The students in the class are all freshman, some with a small computing or musical background. Many would like to major in computing in the arts.
The CSCI 180 course is already over capacity for the spring semester and plans are in place for the “Computer Music and the Quest for Beauty” learning community to be offered again in fall 2011.
For more information, contact Bill Manaris at 843.953.8159 or Blake Stevens at 843.953.8220.