Corso straordinario di Informatica musicale - Conservatorio di Firenze - EN - ASC

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Corso sperimentale di informatica musicale - Conservatorio di Firenze

At the end of the Seventies and beginning of the Eighties, several composers from Florence started to collaborate with Pietro Grossi, among them: Albert Mayr, Lelio Camilleri, Marco Ligabue and Francesco Giomi. In this experimental and innovative atmosphere Grossi established the first course of music informatics at the Conservatory of Florence. [1]

Conservatorio firenze.jpg


Corso sperimentale di informatica musicale (Experimental course of music informatics)

Founding Year:



Conservatorio L. Cherubini di Firenze, Piazza delle Belle Arti, 50121 Firenze

Administration (structure, staff, representatives and collaborators):


  • Prof.Pietro Grossi, from a.y. 1977 to a.y. 1984 ca.
  • Prof.Lelio Camilleri, form a.y. 1984/85 to a.y. 1991/92 ca.
  • Prof.Francesco Giomi from a.y. 1992/93 to a.y. 1993/94 ca.
  • Prof.Marco Ligabue from a.y. 1994/95 to present


Conservatorio L. Cherubini di Firenze


Tel: 055 298 9311, Fax +39.055.2396785



The course wasborn from the will to verify the potentialities of the computer. More precisely the main aims were, and still are, the didactic, training and research in the field of informatics applied to music, programming and computer science in general.

Sectors of Intervention:

Computer science, mathematics, physics, music informatics, programming.

Activities (research/production/training/promotion):

Research and training in the field of general informatics and informatics technologies applied to music.

Origin and History:

The course of music informatics dealt mainly with the application of informatics to music. The subjects that were taught were general informatics, mathematics, physics and programming, especially in Fortran and dedicated at the implementation of new applications for the Taumus (Tau2 software).

Since 1995, under the guide of Maestro Marco Ligabue, the course of music informatics has been examiningthe theory of the different aspects of informatics and it has been facing the applicative side of the subject matter in other modules of the course, such as: numeric elaboration of the signal, programming languages, control formats and auto protocols.

Thanks to a convention between the Conservatorio and the CNUCE of Pisa (at present ISTI), the didactic activities of this course and of the Corso straordinario di musica elettronica (established in 1965) has developed in parallel with the scientific and production researches carried out in the past years by the Unità di Musicologia Computazionale. This collaboration made possible the creation, in 2003, of the centre MARTLab (realized in collaboration with the Conservatory and ISTI/CNUCE of the CNR), directed by Prof. Carreras, a previous collaborator of the Conservatorio L. Cherubini and researcher of the CNR (and also professor of semiography in the following year).

In 2003 a reform took place inside the conservatories and it was established the “Nuovo Ordinamento”, where many subjects of the course of music informatics converged. The nuovo ordinamento comprises a three years course, named Triennio di Musica Elettronica, where music informatics is incorporated in the study of electro music and composition, and an experimental two years course, named Biennio specialistico di Musica e Nuove Tecnologie (Biennio MNT).

The course of music informatics has always been experimental and with the reform it merged into the nuovo ordinamento of MNT. The course kept itsoriginal name because Vecchio and Nuovo Ordinamento coexisted until 2011, when the Vecchio Ordinamento has been closed. All its courses (included the corso sperimentale di informatica musicale) will remain active as long as the students already enrolled will carry on their studies, but it is not possible any longer to register on the courses.

The course of music informatics that Pietro Grossi establishedin 1977/78 in the Conservatory of Florence, was the first one in Italy (like the electro music course Pietro Grossi) established in 1965 in the Conservatory of Florence)and it remained the only one until when the reform of the L. 508/99 included it in the Schools of Music and New Technologies that some Italian conservatories activated in 2003/2004.

Technical Equipment (systems/software/tools…):

Analogical tape recorders

  • Tape recorder Studer A807 for 1/4" tapes –2-track heads - 0,75 mm guard (butterfly)
  • Tape recorder Studer A812 for 1/4" tapes –2-track heads - 2 mm guard
  • Tape recorder Studer A812 for 1/4" tapes –4-track heads 2 channels (1+3)
  • Tape recorder Revox PR99 for 1/4" tapes –2-track heads - guard 0,75 mm (butterfly)
  • Tape recorder Studer A80 for 1/4" tapes –2-track heads - guard 0,75 mm (butterfly)
  • Tape recorder Studer A80 for 2" tapes – 16-track heads
  • Tape recorder Studer A810 for 1/4" tapes – 2-track heads - 2 mm guard - sync head
  • Tape recorder TEAC A3340-S for 1/4" tapes – 4-track heads.Recorder Tascam 122mkII for Compact Cassette

Record players

  • Record player EMT 950 with varispeed
  • Record player Thorens TD 124 II
  • Pre-amp phono Elberg MD12 Mk2
  • Pre-amp Mark Levinson LNP-2

  • Record clearing machine Keith Monks RCM MkII - The Archivist

Digital tape recorders

  • Recorder Dat Tascam DA-40
  • Recorder Dat Tascam DA-20

  • Recorder Adat Type II Alesis XT20

AD-DA Converters

  • Converter A/D Prism Sound Dream AD-2
  • Converter A/D D/A Prism Sound Dream ADA-8
  • Word clock Lucid generator SSG192

Digital Audio Workstation

  • DAW Sonic Studio HD v1.9.1

  • Sonic Studio No Noise suite

  • Computer PowerMac G4 Dual Processor 800MHz 

  • MacOs System 9.2.2.
  • DAW Digidesign ProTools HD1

*Interface Digidesign 96i I/O

Interface Digidesign 888 I/O
Computer PowerPC G5 Dual Processor 2,3GHz
MacOs System 10.5.6


  • Mixer Yamaha DM1000-VCM – Meter bridge

  • Expansion card Yamaha ADAT MY16-AT

  • Expansion card Yamaha MY16-MLAN

  • Mixer Tascam DM24

Audio Monitor

  • Near field monitors Meyer Sound HD-1
  • Near field monitors Adam Professional Audio P 11

  • Near field monitors Event TR8XL

  • Headphones AKG K241


  • CD-player Onkio DX-7333

  • CD-player Denon DCD-500AL

  • CD/DVD-player MSB SuperDVD Audio player
  • CD-Recorder Tascam CD-D1x4
  • Belden Starquad cables – Neutrik connectors
  • Test tape MRL
  • Macro track test disc AES-S001-064
  • Oscilloscope PicoScope 3205

Projects (realized/on going/to be realized):

  • realization of software, mainly in Fortran, for the implementation of new Taumus applications.


  • Compositions realized by the students from 1977 to nowadays
  • Series of concerts (organization and/or participation to events organized by others)
  • Pietro Grossi (selezione): Improvvisazione III (1979), Sound life (1979-85), ciclo di composizioni, Unicum (1985-90), cycle of compositions, Mixed Unicum (1985-90), cycle of compositions
  • Albert Mayr (selezione): Proposta Sonora I, Proposta Sonora IV, Proposta Sonora V, Proposta Sonora VII, Proposta Sonora X, An Old Lady's Wallpaper, Proposta Sonora XIII, Abendgrün, per 9 Ottoni
  • Lelio Camilleri (selezione): Apostrophe, Come Close And Sleep Now (1983), Elastic Rock - 1995, Overfall (1983), Tess In Stonehenge (1983), Tess In Stonehenge (1983)
  • Marco Ligabue (selezione): Valdrada (1989), Triangles (1991- 92), Miroirs (1993), Marseille (1994), PTGR Stars and Stripes (1995), Swan song (1996), Levis aura (1998), Loveghost (1998), Radiodays (1999)
  • Francesco Giomi (selezione): Getofftheline (1994), That'sall folks! (1994), Chromatism (1992), Nave di Luce (1990)


  • Marco Ligabue, “Pietro Grossi: un pensiero al futuro” all'interno di Pietro Grossi. Avventure con suono e segno, A. Mayr (a cura di), Associazione Pietro Grossi/AlefBet, Firenze, 2011
  • Marco Ligabue, (saggio all'interno di) La musica con l’elettronica nell’opera di Ivan Fedele, Edizioni Suvini Zerbini, Milano, 2009
  • Rivista “Musica/Tecnologia” (Fondazione Franceschini-SISMEL / FUP-Firenze University Press), n.1/2007
  • Rivista “Musica/Tecnologia” (Fondazione Franceschini-SISMEL / FUP-Firenze University Press), n.2/2008
  • Rivista “Musica/Tecnologia” (Fondazione Franceschini-SISMEL / FUP-Firenze University Press), n.3/2009
  • Rivista “Musica/Tecnologia” (Fondazione Franceschini-SISMEL / FUP-Firenze University Press), n.4/2010
  • Rivista “Musica/Tecnologia” (Fondazione Franceschini-SISMEL / FUP-Firenze University Press), n.5/2011
  • Francesco Giomi, The Italian Artist Pietro Grossi. From Early Electronic Music to Computer Art, Leonardo 28 (1), 1995.
  • Francesco Giomi, An Early Case of Algorithmic Composition in Italy Organised Sound 1 (3), 1996.
  • Francesco Giomi, “La poesia acusmatica. Musiche elettroacustiche tra suono e testo”, all'interno di Poetronics, al confine tra suono, parola, tecnologia, Vincenzo e G. Immertat (a cura di), Edizioni Tracce, L’Aquila, 1999.
  • Francesco Giomi e Marco Ligabue, L’istante zero. Conversazioni e riflessioni con Pietro Grossi, SISMEL- Edizioni del Galluzzo, Firenze, 1999.
  • Albert Mayr, "1963-1993: Trent'anni di musica elettronica a Firenze", Nuova Meta - Parole e Immagini 8 (1), 1994.
  • Francesco Giomi e Marco Ligabue, Diego Fabrizio Tomassini (a cura di), UN SOFTWARE PER LA GENERAZIONE AUTOMATICA E LO STUDIO DELLA MUSICA JAZZ, atti VII COLLOQUIO DI INFORMATICA MUSICALE, Associazione *Musica Verticale - Edizioni Arti Grafiche Ambrosini, Roma, 1988


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