College Announces New Major

The College of Charleston officially announces Computing in the Arts (CITA), a new interdisciplinary major in the School of Sciences and Mathematics and the School of the Arts.

A CITA Celebration will be held on Monday, February 28, from noon to 2 p.m. in the lobby of The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts. As part of the launch, David Cope, Ph.D., Dickerson emeriti professor (University of California at Santa Curz), will present a master class at 10 a.m. and lecture at 6 p.m. about his computer program, which has created more than 6,000 music compositions.

The new Computing in the Arts major is designed to offer students an interdisciplinary experience in computer science and the arts. CITA combines creativity, problem solving, and computational thinking through an interdisciplinary curriculum of courses offered by Computer Science, Music, Art History, Studio Art, and Theatre and four synthesis courses. This new major is managed by the Department of Computer Science and is supported by the combined faculty from computer science and the School of the Arts.

From contemporary music, art and theatre production to creating new forms of animation and digital media, to invigorating the visual and audio systems of tomorrow’s computers, to inventing revolutionary internet applications, CITA combines creativity in the arts with the tools and conceptual modeling systems of computing. Graduates of CITA will design and code new creativity tools for the future.  This major prepares students for graduate school as well as for careers in the information and arts industries. The National Science Foundation and Google are now funding CITA.

Watch South Carolina’s first Laptop Orchestra Concert, held in December 2010 as part of the CITA major.

David Cope’s free, public presentation is part of the School of Sciences and Mathematics’ ninth Conrad D. Festa Community Lecture Series. Cope will present a lecture about his computer program Experiments in Musical Intelligence, which has created over 6,000 music compositions. The presentation will include a on-the-spot computer composition in the style of Bach. The event will take place at 6 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Admission is free.

Dr. Cope is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and teaches regularly in the annual Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music (WACM). His books include: Computers and Musical Style, Experiments in Musical Intelligence, The Algorithmic Composer, Virtual Music, Computer Models of Musical Creativity, and Hidden Structure; these books describe the computer program Experiments in Musical Intelligence, which he created in 1981. Experiments in Musical Intelligence’s works are published by Spectrum Press ( They include Horizons for orchestra; three operas in the style of (and the librettos consisting of letters by) the composers Mozart, Schumann, and Mahler; a symphony and piano concerto in the style of Mozart; and a seventh Brandenburg Concerto in the style of Bach. Experiments in Musical Intelligence’s works are available on five Centaur Records albums (Bach by Design, Classical Music Composed by Computer, Virtual Mozart, Virtual Bach, Virtual Rachmaninoff). Works composed in his own style include ten symphonies, ten string quartets, several chamber orchestra pieces, and a host of other works, most of which have been performed around the world.

For more information, contact Bill Manaris at