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Published on May 26, 2011
[Recorded: December 14, 2004] Computers have revolutionized music making. Two of the most important pioneers of computer music, Max Mathews and John Chowning, stand at the epicenter of this musical revolution. Research led by Mathews at Bell Laboratories, beginning in the 1950s, created a series of programming languages that are the direct precursors of today's software synthesizers. Max Mathew's many contributions to interactive music systems, algorithmic composition, and psychoacoustics (with Jean-Claude Risset) are equally seminal. Stanford's legendary Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) led for many years by Chowning, has long been a hotbed of innovation. After groundbreaking research in sound spatialization, Chowning's invention of frequency modulation (FM) synthesis led to the most successful synthesizer of all time: the Yamaha DX7. In this video, Chowning and Mathews are in conversation with Curtis Roads, composer and music historian. The video also includes a performance by pianist Chryssie Nanou performing "Duet for One Pianist."