See also: Articles by Rohrhuber, de Campo and Wieser on the laptop orchestra research map under Powerbooks Unplugged.

Key Reading

  • Collins, N., McLean, A., Rohrhuber, J., Ward, A. (2003) "Live Coding in Laptop Performance." Organised Sound, 8(3): 321-330.
  • Blackwell, A. and Collins, N. (2005) "The Programming Language as a Musical Instrument." In Proceedings of PPIG05 (Psychology of Programming Interest Group).

Further Sources

Roads, Curtis (1986) "The Second STEIM Symposium on Interactive Composition in Live Electronic Music." Computer Music Journal, 10(2).

Cox, G., McLean, A., and Ward, A. (2000). The Aesthetics of Generative Code. In International Conference on Generative Art.

Eacott, John (2000) "Form and transience - generative music composition in practice." In Proceedings of Generative Art 2000 (Milan, Italy).

Cox, G., McLean, A. and Ward, A. (2001) "The Aesthetics of Generative Code." In Proceedings of Generative Art.

Collins, Nicolas (2003) "Generative Music and Laptop Performance." Contemporary Music Review, 22(4): 67-79.

Shulgin, A. (2003) Listen to the tools, interview with Alex McLean and Adrian Ward. In Read_Me 2.3 Reader (Goriunova, O. and Shulgin, A., eds.).

Alexander, A., Cramer, F., Fuller, M., Kaulmann, T., McLean, A., Schultz, P., and Men, T. Y. (2003). Quickview on Software Art. In Read_Me 2.3 Reader (Goriunova, O. and Shulgin, A., eds.).

Cox, G., McLean, A., and Ward, A. (2004). "Coding praxis: Reconsidering the aesthetics of code". In Read_Me Software Art and Cultures (Goriunova, O. and Shulgin, A., eds.), pp. 161-174.

Wang, G. and Cook, P. R. (2004) "On-the-fly programming: Using Code as an Expressive Musical Instrument." In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression NIME'04, (Hamamatsu, Japan).

McLean, A. (2004). Hacking Perl in nightclubs.

Ward et al (2004) "Live Algorithm Programming and a Temporary Organisation for its Promotion." In Proceedings of the README software art conference (Aarhus, Denmark).

Brown, A. R. (2006) "Code Jamming." M/C Journal [A Journal of Media and Culture].

Collins, N. and Olofsson, F. (2006) "klipp av: Live Algorithmic Splicing and Audiovisual Event Capture." Computer Music Journal, 30(2).

Collins, Nicolas (2007) "Analysis of Generative Music." Electroacoustic Music Studies Network Proceedings (Leicester, UK).

Nilson, Click (aka. Nicolas Collins). (2007) "Live Coding Practice." In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (New York University, NY).

Sorensen, A and Brown, A. (2007) "aa-cell in Practice: An Approach to Musical Live Coding." In Proceedings of the ICMC, (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Zmölnig, I. and Eckel, G. (2007) "Live Coding: An Overview." In Proceedings of the ICMC (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Griffiths, D. (2007). "Game Pad Live Coding Performance." Die Welt als virtuelles Environment (Birringer, J., Dumke, T. and Nicolai, K., eds.). Dresden, Germany: Trans-Media-Akademie (TMA) Hellerau.

Collins, Nicolas (2008) "The analysis of generative music programs." Organised Sound, 13(3).

McLean, A. (2008) "Live coding for free." Floss+Art. London: Mute Publishing Ltd.

Ludovico, A. (2008) Alex McLean, Live Coding interview. In neural magazine, issue 27.

Brown, A. (2009) "Interacting with Generative Music Through Live Coding." Contemporary Music Review, 28(1).

McLean, A., Wiggins, G. (2009) "Patterns of movement in live languages." 25th CHArt [Computers and the History of Art] Conference (University of London, Birbeck).

Armitage, T. (2009). Slub: Making music with live computer code. Wired.

McLean, A. and Wiggins, G. (2010). Bricolage Programming in the Creative Arts. In Proceedings of 22nd Psychology of Programming Interest Group.

McLean, A. and Wiggins, G. (2010). Tidal – Pattern Language for the Live Coding of Music. In Proceedings of the 7th Sound and Music Computing conference.

McLean, A., Griffiths, D., Collins, N., Wiggins, G. (2010). "Visualisation of Live Code." Electronic Visualization and the Arts EVA 2010 (London, UK).

McLean, A. and Wiggins, G. (2010). "Live Coding Towards Computational Creativity". In Proceedings of ICCC-X. [preprint]

Collins, Nicolas. (2011) "Live Coding of Consequence." Leonardo Journal, 44(3): 207-211.

McLean, A., Magnusson, T. and Collins, N. (2011) Curator's statement for the Computer Music Journal 35(4): 119-137. DVD live coding compilation

McLean, A. (2011). Artist-Programmers and Programming Languages for the Arts. PhD thesis, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London.

McLean, A. and Wiggins, G. (2011). Texture: Visual notation for the live coding of pattern. In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference (University of Huddersfield, UK).

Stowell, D. and McLean, A. (2011). Live music-making: a rich open task requires a rich open interface. In Proceedings of BCS HCI 2011 Workshop – When Words Fail: What can Music Interaction tell us about HCI?

Cox, G. and McLean, A. (in press). Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression. MIT Press. (November 23, 2012).

McLean, A. and Wiggins, G. (in press). "Computer programming in the creative arts." In Computers and Creativity (McCormack, J. and d’Inverno, M., eds.). Springer. (November 23, 2012).


McCartney, J. (1998). "Continued evolution of the SuperCollider real-time synthesis environment." In Proceedings of the ICMC (Ann Arbor, Michigan).

McCartney, J. (2002) "Rethinking the Computer Music Programming Language: SuperCollider." Computer Music Journal, 26(4): 61-68.

Wang, G. and Cook, P. R. (2003) "ChucK: A Concurrent, On-the-fly Audio Programming Language." In Proceedings of the ICMC (Singapore), p. 219-226.

Wang, G. and Cook, P. R. (2004) "The Audicle: A Context-sensitive, On-the-fly Audio Programming Environ/mentality." In Proceedings of the ICMC (Miami, USA).

Wang, G., Misra, A., Kapur, A., and Cook, P. (2005) "Yeah, ChucK It! => Dynamic, Controllable Interface Mapping." In Proceedings of NIME 05.

Wang, G., Misra, A., Davidson, P. and Cook, P. (2005) "Co-Audicle: A Collaborative and Audio Programming Space." In Proceedings of NIME 05.

Weinberg, G. (2005) "Interconnected Musical Networks: Toward a Theoretical Framework." Computer Music Journal, 29(2): 23-29.

Wang, G., Misra, A., Kapur, A., Cook, P. (2006) "Building Collaborative Graphical Interfaces in the Audicle." In Proceedings of NIME 06.

Fiebrink, R., Wang, G. and Cook, P. (2008) "Foundations for on-the-fly learning in the ChucK programming language." In Proceedings of the ICMC (SARC, Belfast, N. Ireland).

Burns, C. and Surges, G. (2008) "NRCI: Software Tools for Laptop Ensemble." In Proceedings of the ICMC (SARC, Belfast, N. Ireland).

Sorensen, A. (2010) "A Distributed Memory for Networked Livecoding Performance." In Proceedings of the ICMC (New York, NY).

Magnusson, Thor (2010) "ixi lang: A SuperCollider Parasite for Live Coding." SuperCollider Symposium, Berlin.

Magnusson, Thor (2010) "ixi lang: A Constraint System for Live Coding." ISEA 2010 RUHR.

Baalman, M. A. J. et al. (2010) "Sense/Stage — low cost, open source wireless sensor and data sharing infrastructure for live performance and interactive realtime environments." In Proceedings of the ICMC (New York, NY).

Baalman, M. A. J. (2010) "5 years of using SuperCollider in real-time interactive performances and installations – retrospective analysis of Schwelle, Chronotopia and Semblance." Linux Audio Conference (LAC) 2010 (Utrecht, The Netherlands).


McLean, A. (2001) Hacking sound in context. CD-ROM of Music without Walls, De Montfort University.

A prehistory of live coding. (2007) TOPLAP Orchestra.

Of Possible Interest

Forth, J., Wiggins, G., and McLean, A. (2010). Unifying Conceptual Spaces: Concept Formation in Musical Creative Systems. Minds and Machines, 20(4): 503-532.

Ames, C. (1987) "Automated composition in retrospect: 1956-86." Leonardo Music Journal 20(2).

Eno, Brian. (1996) "Generative Music." Transcript of talk from Imagination Conference, San Francisco.

Loublet, E. (2000) "Laptop performers, compact disc designers, and no-beat techno artists in Japan: music from nowhere." Computer Music Journal, 24(4).

Harland, K. (2000) "Composing for Interactive Music." Gamasutra.

McCormack, J. and Donin, A. (2001) "Art, emergence and the computational sublime." In Proceedings of Second Iteration: Emergence (Melbourne, Australia).

Rowe, R. (2001) Machine Musicianship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Noble, J. and Biddle, R. (2002) "Notes on postmodern programming". In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA).

Ulyate, R. and Biancardi, D. (2002) "The interactive dance club: avoiding chaos in a multi-participant environment." Computer Music Journal, 26(3).

Collins, N. (2002b) "Relating superhuman virtuosity to human performance." In Proceedings of MAXIS (Sheffield, UK).

Schloss, A. (2003) "Using Contemporary Technology in Live Performance: The Dilemma of the Performer." Journal of New Music Research, 32(2).

Zadel, M. and Scavone, G. (2006) "Laptop performance: Techniques, Tools and New Interface Design." In Proceedings of the ICMC (New Orleans, USA).

Young, M. (2007) "Au(or)a: Exploring Attributes of a Live Algorithm." In Electroacoustic Music Network Proceedings.

Caceres, J., Hamilton, R., Iyer, D., Chafe, C. and Wang, G. (2008) "To the Edge with China: Explorations in Network-based Performance." In Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Arts ARTECH, (Porto, Portugal).

McCourt, Steve (2010) "Aesthetics of Multimedia and Visual Concepts in Electroacoustic Music." In Electroacoustic Music Network Proceedings.

Marije Baalman's publications