Lecture & Concert: Electronic Music Pioneer John Chowning

October 11, 2012


MIT Media Lab, Building E14, 6th Floor


Lecture: 5:00pm
Concert: 7:30pm
John Chowning, Professor Emeritus at Stanford, discovered the frequency modulation synthesis (FM) algorithm that led to the most successful synthesis engines in the history of electronic instruments. Licensed to Yamaha in 1973, this breakthrough in the synthesis of timbres allowed a very simple yet elegant way of creating and controlling time-varying spectra. Inspired by the perceptual research of Jean-Claude Risset, Chowning worked toward turning his discovery into a system of musical importance, using it extensively in his compositions. Chowning taught computer-sound synthesis and composition at Stanford University’s Department of Music and was the founding director of Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Learn more about John Chowning.
John Chowning’s visit is made possible by the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. The arts at MIT are rooted in experimentation, risk-taking, and imaginative problem-solving.


John Chowning is professor emeritus at Stanford. He developed the technique for creating digital sounds in the late 1960s, which was patented to Yamaha in 1973. He was the founding director in 1975 of Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

Host/Chair: Tod Machover

More Events