John Chowning


The American composer John Chowning was born in New Jersey in 1934. He studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and later, at Stanford University, with Leland Smith, where he received his doctorate. In 1964, in collaboration with Max Mathews and David Poole, he developed a computer program in Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Laboratories that could produce electronic sounds. It was the first music informatics program ever. John Chowning made other inventions in 1967: the FM technique – frequency modulation. This technique was used in the popular and commercial Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer. John Chowning received commissions and scholarships from several European and American foundations. He has worked in the largest and most important electronic music studios. Today he is director of CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics), and teaches composition and sound synthesis at Stanford University.