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The Musical Web

Tommy Martinez, Chloe Alexandra Thompson
Section 1: March 6, 2023 to May 8, 2023
Section 2: March 7, 2023 to May 9, 2023

(10 classes)
Section 1: Mondays, 6:30-9:30pm ET Section 2: Tuesdays, 8pm-11pm ET
Online (Zoom)
$1200 Scholarships available learn more...
Applications closed on February 10, 2023

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With so many of our listening experiences being enabled through interactive, software based streaming platforms, it is exciting to imagine the new shapes music might take in these environments beyond the static audio formats we are familiar with. Tools for shaping sound on the web have become more standardized, giving artists a wide range of digital processes to explore generatively produced sound work. The breadth of realized potential under these new circumstances however is still emerging and under-explored. Together we will define what it means to make music in networked environments, expanding our idea of a compositional process to include interventions with code on the world wide web. We will ask, how can web frameworks be used to create new models for music making, and how is our understanding of the sonic arts growing to include web and other technologies? In this 10 week class, participants will work with a variety of tools to build interactive, spatial and generative sound pieces online. Class activities will unfold through discussion, sharing, and hands-on lab time. Approximately half of the course will focus on composition and sound design exercises to fuel the coding process. These activities will include field recording, sampling, and digital synthesis techniques. Participants will leave with their own personal web based sound pieces and will collectively define what music can look like on the web. No previous programming experience is required, just a willingness and excitement to work with html, javascript and other audio programming languages.

Course of Study

  • Week 1: New Experiments — How are musical artists currently working with web technologies in inspiring ways? What are the possibilities and challenges of working in this medium? In this class we will explore these questions and set up our programming environment.
  • Week 2: Tone Poems, Synths and Effects — We will work together to investigate synthesis and signal processing through building FM / subtractive synthesizers, as well as integrating simple audio effects.
  • Week 3: Field Recording, Sampling and Collage — In this week we will look at field recording and sampling techniques. We will use pre-recorded sounds, or collect some from our home and collage them on a web page.
  • Week 4: Compositional Strategies — Arrangements and Timing: Sequencing and using timing and changes for the tools we have built.
  • Week 5: Publishing — Wait, how does the web work? In this class we will learn to publish our websites to the web and learn about the history of the world wide web.
  • Week 6: The Platform — In this week we will discuss popular music platforms for musical distribution and the support or problems they pose for musicians. We will envision our own smaller platforms and distributional methods.
  • Week 7: Virtual and Web Based Performance — In this week we will discuss the work of performers and composers who have used the web (or some form of it in their work). We will use our own websites as tools for live performance.
  • Week 8: Beyond the Library — Writing our own custom audio code using the AudioWorklet API. This will be a very basic example but will illustrate the workflow for making our own audio nodes (noise generator, Math.Random(), etc…).
  • Week 9: Unknown Futures — How artists and collectives are using what have become known as Metaverse technologies and Web3, automated code generation and machine learning to imagine new distributional methods.
  • Week 10: Final Presentations — In this class we will share final projects and present or perform our musical web works.


We expect that participants attend with an open mind and are willing to try out new forms of working both collaboratively and independently.

We aim to set up an environment where participants feel empowered to ask questions, but understand that this can be challenging when people are working with new technologies or creative modalities for the first time.

Time & Workload
  • There are weekly experiments and exercises, which appear to result in deliverables, but there is not a grading system in our coursework. We hope that these experiments provide a structure for you to grow and explore your own practice, with new tools, ideas or inspiration.
  • There is a final presentation to share back what we learn together. This exercise does not need to include work from every module, it is there for you to work towards a goal of focus and have an opportunity to share your work. With consent, this will be featured on a public website for others to explore and learn from as well!
Technical Experience

No prior coding experience is necessary, just an excitement to explore new sonic territory through code and art. The course will be taught in p5.sound, Web Audio API and Max MSP.

  • Mac or Windows computer (if you wish to use a ubuntu/Linux OS based computer let us know so we can plan accordingly)
  • Sound recording device (can be a phone!)

Is this class for me?

This class may be for you if:

  • You are an artist and want to expand your practice to include computer based forms of music making on the internet.
  • You are a coder / designer and want to expand your practice to include composition and sound art.
  • You want to spend 10 weeks thinking about form in a different way.

This class may NOT be for you if:

  • You are looking for a coding bootcamp.

Meet the Teachers


Tommy Martinez

Tommy Martinez is an artist and programmer working primarily through research, sound and code. He creates software and musical systems for the internet, embedded devices, and for live multichannel performance. Martinez has performed at MoMA PS1, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Fridman Gallery, and Pioneer Works. He has lectured on sound and electronic art at School for Poetic Computation, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and NYU.

he/him · website · twitter · instagram


Chloe Alexandra Thompson

Thompson is a Cree, Canadian, interdisciplinary artist and sound designer. Thompson approaches sound as a mode of connection—embracing the kinesthetic agency of sound to compose abstract feats of spatialized audio recording and synthesis. Her work engages tactics of material minimalism to create site-specific installations that sculpt droning, maximalist experiences out of space and sound. Using audio programming software, computational processing, and acoustic instruments, Thompson’s work seeks to create connection by guiding audience participants through these augmented experiences.

she/her · website · instagram

How do I apply?

Apply Now

Applications open until Applications closed on February 10, 2023.

You can expect to hear back from us about the status of your application on February 24, 2023. Please email us at with any questions you have.

How much does it cost to attend?

For 10 classes, it costs $1200 + processing fees, for a one-time payment. We also offer payment plans. Participants can schedule weekly or monthly payments of the same amount. First and last payments must be made before the start and end of class. *Processing fees apply for each payment.

SFPC processes all payments via Withfriends and Stripe. Please email if these payment options don't work for you.

Applicant FAQ

For more information about what we look for in applicants, scholarships, and other frequently asked questions, please visit our applicant FAQ.

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