Desain, P., & Honing, H. (1993). Lisp programming for computer music. (Tutorial notes International Computer Music Conference). Tokyo: Waseda University.


The Lisp programming language is nowadays widespread in computer music and is supported by all of computer music's favorite platforms (Mac, NeXT, Indigo). More and more Lisp is used to express symbolic computation inherent in composition (Dannenberg, Cope, Fry, Rahn, Rodet & Cointe, Taube, Schottstaedt), music theory (Ashley, Smoliar, Widmer), music perception modeling (Desain & Honing, Chung, Rosenthal) and related tasks. To use these systems, and extend or modify them, a proper understanding of programming constructs in modern Lisp is necessary. Contemporary Lisp has many capabilities that not obvious for programmers that are used to imperative languages like C and Pascal. In this tutorial these constructs are introduced and explained using only examples from the computer music domain. The main focus is on Common Lisp. A floppy with all examples and some Lisp microworlds for composition is available for further exploration.