The SuperCollider Book

The SuperCollider Book

Edited by Scott Wilson, David Cottle and Nick Collins

Foreword by James McCartney

The essential reference to SuperCollider, a powerful, flexible, open-source, cross-platform audio programming language.
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The essential reference to SuperCollider, a powerful, flexible, open-source, cross-platform audio programming language.

SuperCollider is one of the most important domain-specific audio programming languages, with potential applications that include real-time interaction, installations, electroacoustic pieces, generative music, and audiovisuals. The SuperCollider Book is the essential reference to this powerful and flexible language, offering students and professionals a collection of tutorials, essays, and projects. With contributions from top academics, artists, and technologists that cover topics at levels from the introductory to the specialized, it will be a valuable sourcebook both for beginners and for advanced users. SuperCollider, first developed by James McCartney, is an accessible blend of Smalltalk, C, and further ideas from a number of programming languages. Free, open-source, cross-platform, and with a diverse and supportive developer community, it is often the first programming language sound artists and computer musicians learn. The SuperCollider Book is the long-awaited guide to the design, syntax, and use of the SuperCollider language. The first chapters offer an introduction to the basics, including a friendly tutorial for absolute beginners, providing the reader with skills that can serve as a foundation for further learning. Later chapters cover more advanced topics and particular topics in computer music, including programming, sonification, spatialization, microsound, GUIs, machine listening, alternative tunings, and non-real-time synthesis; practical applications and philosophical insights from the composer's and artist's perspectives; and "under the hood,” developer's-eye views of SuperCollider's inner workings. A Web site accompanying the book offers code, links to the application itself and its source code, and a variety of third-party extras, extensions, libraries, and examples.


$55.00 X ISBN: 9780262232692 776 pp. | 8 in x 9 in 420 figures, 41 tables


Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham, England.

David Cottle

David Cottle is Lecturer Associate Professor at the School of Music, University of Utah.

Nick Collins

Nick Collins is Lecturer in Music Informatics at the University of Sussex.


James McCartney.


  • This book documents the SuperCollider language to an extent never before achieved and shows how it can be used to realize a wide variety of musical and technical applications. The scholarship is sound, as the chapter authors are leaders in the field and deeply knowledgeable on how SuperCollider may be used, taught, and learned.

    Robert Rowe

    Director, Steinhardt Music Composition Program, New York University