The University of Illinois School of Music has been a leading academic center for music technology since the start of the digital revolution in the 1950s. Our Composition/Theory faculty have made significant contributions — both artistic and technical — in the areas of electro-acoustic composition techniques, digital sound synthesis and analysis, interactive performance systems, algorithmic music systems, spatialization, and digital audio production.
The School of Music is home to the Experimental Music Studios. Electroacoustic music activities at the School of Music have earned the University of Illinois an international reputation as a leader in the field of contemporary art music. Known for significant creative and technical developments in electronic and computer music composition, the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios were founded in 1958 by Lejaren Hiller and were among the first of their kind in the western hemisphere. Faculty members and students working in the University of Illinois School of Music have been responsible for many of the developments in electroacoustic music over the years including the first developments in computer sound synthesis by Lejaren Hiller, the Harmonic Tone Generator by James Beauchamp, expanded gestural computer synthesis by Herbert Brün, the creation of the Sal-Mar Construction by Salvatore Martirano, acousmatique sound diffusion/multi-channel sound immersive techniques researched and applied by Scott Wyatt in electroacoustic music and performance, the creation of sound synthesis programs DIASS, DISCO, and MOSS by Sever Tipei, and the creation of Common Music Software environment, GRACE, and Music Theory Workbench by Heinrich Taube, along with his book, Notes from the Metalevel, an Introduction to Algorithmic Composition. Today the facility remains an active and productive center for electroacoustic and computer music composition, education and research.