This page contains writings, interviews and lectures on composition, aesthetics, and computer music technology.

Download Selected Writings

VisualAudio - An environment for designing, tuning and testing embedded audio applications - 2005 Conference of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), New York City, 2005.

Extensions of the Karplus-Strong Plucked String Algorithm - by D. Jaffe and J. O. Smith, in Computer Music Journal (Summer 1983-vol. 7, no. 2).

Musical and Extramusical Applications of the NeXT Music Kit, Proceedings of the 1991 International Computer Music Conference, Montreal.

Intelligent Musical Instruments: The Future of Musical Performance or the Demise of the Performer? , Interface Journal for New Music Research, December, 1993.

JSTOR articles

Impossible Animals: Notes on Birds and Musical Style - by D. Jaffe, Perspectives of New Music, 1995.

The Computer-Extended Ensemble - by D. Jaffe and W. A. Schloss, in Computer Music Journal, 1994.

Spectrum Analysis Tutorial, Part1: The Discrete Fourier Transform - by D. Jaffe in Computer Music Journal, 1987

Ten Criteria for Evaluating Synthesis Techniques - by D. Jaffe in Computer Music Journal, 1995.

Symposium on Computer Music Composition - Edited by Curtis Roads, Computer Music Journal, 1986.

SynthBuilder: A Graphical Rapid-Prototyping Tool for the Development of Music Synthesis and Effects Patches on Multiple Platforms - by N. Porcaro, D. Jaffe, et. al., Computer Music Journal, 1998.

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Audio recording: 2013 Orion Visitor Lecture, University of Victoria

On November 6, 2013, I delivered the Orion Visitor Lecture at the University of Victoria. I discussed my studies with Henry Brant, the early days of computer music at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the making of Silicon Valley Breakdown, the development of time maps and plucked string synthesis, and my collaborations with Julius O. Smith III, Bernard Mont-Reynaud and others. The lecture was preceded by a 7-minute introduction by Professor Andrew Schloss, and was followed by a performance of Silicon Valley Breakdown, in its original quadraphonic version, newly restored (not included on this recording.)

Note: While I attempted to recount historical events accurately, in an oral lecture without a written text, there's always the risk of omissions or errors. In addition, human memory is inexact (and more inexact as time goes on). In particular, in discussing computer music at Stanford, I neglected to mention the late Leland Smith who, along with John Chowning, first brought computer music from Bell Labs to Stanford, and with whom I studied music analysis and composition. Also, in discussing the meeting with Alex Strong, I neglected to mention his collaborator, Kevin Karplus, who was also present at the meeting. Finally, while I focused on the excitement and adventure of developing the techniques used in Sillicon Valley Breakdown, I did not have a time to delve into its aftermath, particularly the deep theory and practice developed by Julius O. Smith, "Digital Waveguide Synthesis," which became the basis of the Yamaha VL-1 synthesizer and others. In fact, I spent the 1990s developing patents and techniques building on Waveguide Synthesis, as part of the Sondius project of the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing, and then continued that work as a co-founder of Staccato Systems, Inc. in the late 1990s. In addition, I have continued developing the techniques and musical applications in works such as Grass and Racing Against Time