[CM] Timeline of CLM/CM development

Bill Schottstaedt bil@ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Tue, 13 May 2003 04:44:01 -0700

> I am working on an outline history of electronic music and would like to
> include the development of Common Lisp Music and Common Music.
> Unfortunately, none of the sources I have found describe the timeline
> completely.  Would anyone out there be willing to provide a brief outline
> of when work on the programs started, when versions were completed, and
> what they developed from?

I'd like to read your history!  Here's a stab at a timeline for CLM,
its antecedents, and companions.

  Music (PDP-6 and PDP-10, written in FAIL and Fortran by David Poole,
         Leland Smith, and Tovar) in the late '60s.
  Score (Leland Smith) (the original "Score", not the current notation program),
        70's -- this was the composition software when I was a new grad student,
        and Pla was my attempt to improve on it.  (SCORE.SCR last written in '79).
	Smith, Leland.  1972.  "Score:  A Musician's Approach to Computer Music."
	JAES 20:7-14.
  Mus10 in the mid 70's. (MUS10.LCS last written in 1977). This added Algol constructs
        to the original Music synthesis program -- a real improvement!
  Mbox (Gareth Loy), Samson box synthesis software, late 70's.  Very hard to write
        instruments -- in that regard a step back from Mus10, but orders of magnitude
        more computing power -- equivalent to a 150-200 MHz PC.
  Sambox (me) early to mid 80's, and Pla (late 70's to mid 80's), DpySnd (early 80's),
    Mixer, Edpla, etc -- Pla was a composing language, Mixer was a mixing scripter,
    EdPla a GUI-oriented view onto Pla (I had to write every aspect of the GUI system
    including the notion of a window and the underlying graphics library -- this made
    it slow going -- finally hit memory limits that brought it to a halt).  DpySnd
    was the predecessor of Snd.
  then in the late 80's CCRMA finally abandoned the PDP-10/Samson box and moved to
        Unix-based "workstations" (NeXTs).  I first reimplemented Mus10
        for them as:
  CLM (1989 and on) -- the file HISTORY.clm takes up the development in 1990.  CLM's
        original goal was to make it possible to "realize" Mus10/Sambox instruments and
        notelists on the NeXTs (using the 56000).
  Snd (late 90's) -- HISTORY.Snd shows its development.  This was developed in C
        because I couldn't find a GUI system in CL that I thought was up to the task.
  CLM-2 came in 1999, intended to clean up accumulated cruft in CLM-1 --
       zillions of name changes, flushed the DSP code, etc.
  CLM-3 would replace the current cmus.lisp macros with something based
       on clm.c -- Snd is sort of CLM-3 without the CL.

I have user-manuals for the old programs mentioned above, as well as
nearly all the other programs we used in the PDP-10 era.
I'm not sure any program was ever "completed", however.  In the
role of earnest academic, I wrote some boring articles:

"Pla: A Composer's Idea of a Language", Computer Music Journal,
    Vol 7, No. 1, 1983.

"CLM: Music V Meets Common Lisp", CMJ (Summer, 1994).

"Pla, a Computer Music Language", in "Current Directions in Computer Music
    Research", MIT Press, 1989.