John R. Pierce

  • Current Directions in Computer Music Research

    Max V. Mathews and John R. Pierce

    These twenty-one original contributions by composers, behavioral scientists, engineers, and other specialists from many of the international centers of research in computer music provide an inside report on the most sophisticated aspects of digital synthesis, control and understanding of musical sound, and related work on perception. Among the specific topics covered are speech songs, synthesis of the singing voice, spatial reverberation, the simulation of bowed instruments, and a conductor program utilizing a mechanical baton. A chapter authored jointly by Mathews and Pierce describes a new musical scale they have been working on for the past few years.

    • Hardcover $44.00
    • Paperback $32.95 £28.00
  • Almost All About Waves

    John R. Pierce

    Among his peers, John R. Pierce is properly appreciated as a creator of complex engineering realities from the most basic of scientific insights. To those of more modest technical attainment, he can be directly valued as a teacher with a talent for making his concerns understandable to those willing to commit their interest and attention. In this book, he once again brings a diffuse and difficult subject within reach of nonspecialized readers. The book presents waves in all their manifestations and realizations, a subject that perfectly joins basic science and everyday reality. And it does so with what, nowadays, might be regarded as a modicum of mathematics, venturing just across the line of partial differential equation is at home and emerges to be seen fully revealed.

    Pierce considers waves in the most general light as one of the great unifying concepts of physics. This approach will allow the reader to comprehend an almost unlimited array of specific phenomena: "Modern physics is full of waves,” Pierce writes, “the earthquake waves which seismologists study; the waves in stretched strings and in the quartz crystals that are used to control the frequency of radio transmitters; the electromagnetic waves that constitute light, and that are radiated by radio transmitters and received by radio receivers; and finally, the waves of what?—probability, perhaps—which are used in quantum mechanics to predict the behavior of electrons, atoms, and complex substances.”

    The emphasis is on behavior common to all these and other waves. Among the concepts covered are phase velocity and group velocity, vector and complex representation, energy and momentum, coupled modes and coupling between modes, polarization, diffraction, and radiation.

    • Hardcover $9.95 £7.99
    • Paperback $8.95


  • The Technology of Computer Music

    Max V. Mathews

    The computer is rapidly supplementing the electronic sound studio as an effective sound source and M. V. Mathews is the pioneer and authority in the increasingly important field of generating and processing speech and music through computers.

    The book is intended for people who now employ or are planning to employ the computer in sound-generation and processing: engineers and scientists concerned with speech and acoustics as well as musicians and audiologists working with sound synthesis and the production of speech or music.

    The general technology of generating and processing sound by computer is covered in the first section of the book, and although understanding the subject does not depend on a knowledge of mathematics, special mathematical sections and an appendix will provide the interested reader with the main mathematical relationships underlying the discussion.

    Chapter 1 covers some fundamentals common to all computer sound processing: the representation of sounds as numbers; the underlying processes of sampling and quantizing a sound wave; the approximations and errors which are inherent in sampling and quantizing; the operation of digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters; the construction of smoothing filters; the storage and manipulation of sound waves in numerical form. This chapter also provides an introductory look at computer programming for sound processing which is the central subject of the rest of the book.

    Specific tutorial material aimed at training the user in one particular sound generating program – Music V – is given in the second section of the book. The material assumes that the user has a working knowledge of Fortran and of the general functioning of a computer – arithmetic, memory, input-output, and programming. Relevant reference works are cited at the end of the chapter for those who require greater knowledge of these operations. Section Three contains a detailed description of the operation and structure of the program for Music V. Because it is written in Fortran IV, Music V is easily adaptable to a wide variety of computers. This section also contains reference material for users of Music V and source material for those who desire more fundamental knowledge of a sound generating program in order to write their own program.

    An appendix discusses the relations of psychoacoustics to the composition of music by computer.

    • Hardcover $22.50