Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Max V. Mathews Papers
SC1107  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (232.24 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Access Terms

  • Overview

    Call Number: SC1107
    Creator: Mathews, Max V.
    Title: Max V. Mathews papers
    Dates: 1953-2011
    Physical Description: 20.5 Linear feet (16 boxes)
    Summary: Correspondence, articles, lab notebooks, musical scores, audio recordings, computer files, and other materials related to the professional work of computer music pioneer Max V. Mathews.
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Repository: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives.
    Stanford University Libraries.
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information

    Provenance

    This collection was given to Stanford University, Special Collections, by Marjorie Mathews in April 2012.

    Information about Access

    Computer files are closed pending processing; otherwise the materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Ownership & Copyright

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Cite As

    [identification of item], Max V. Mathews Papers (SC1107). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    Max V. Mathews, often cited as "the father of computer music," was born in Columbus, NE on November 13, 1926. After training as a radio technician in the Navy, he attended the California Institute of Technology, where he received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1950. He received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954.
    Mathews joined the Bell Labs acoustical and behavioral research department in 1955. While there, he developed a computer program that allowed an IBM mainframe to compose and play a 17 second composition. Subsequent versions of this program, called Music, led to the development of popular computer music software such as CSounds and CMix, as well as MAX, a programming language for music named in his honor. Mathews was also the inventor of the Radio Baton, an electronic device for control of music in Midi format, and several electric violins. His collaborators included composers John Cage and Pierre Boulez. In the 1970s, he assisted Boulez in establishing the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris.
    Mathews directed the acoustical and behavioral research center at Bell Labs from 1962 to 1985, at which time he accepted the position of Professor of Music (Research) at Stanford University. While at Stanford, he was affiliated with the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Following his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 2005, he remained active in the electronic music field until his death on April 21, 2011.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection includes correspondence, articles, lab notebooks, musical scores, audio recordings, computer files, and other materials related to the professional work of computer music pioneer Max V. Mathews. Correspondents of note include Jean-Claude Risset and Pierre Boulez. Also included are several films by Lillian Schwartz with music by Mathews.

    Access Terms

    Bell Telephone Laboratories.
    Boulez, Pierre, 1925-
    Cage, John.
    IRCAM (Research institute : France).
    Knowlton, Kenneth C.
    Mathews, Marjorie
    Risset, Jean-Claude
    Schwartz, Lillian F., (Lillian Feldman), 1927-
    Stanford University. Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.
    Stanford University. Dept. of Music.
    Audiotapes.
    Audiovisual.
    Computer music.
    Electronic music
    Electronic musical instuments
    Music--Acoustics and physics.
    Slides.
    Videorecordings.