Skip to Content

How can we use code to create music or sound?

(Getting Started)

Think About

  • How can you use a coding platform to create music?
  • What coding platforms are you aware of that allow you to make music?
  • How do you think people might use code to create music?

Get started

You can create music and sound with code!

Throughout this playlist, we will mostly use two different coding platforms: Scratch and Sonic Pi.

Get Started with Scratch:

Scratch is a programming platform that uses digital blocks to create media arts projects, games, music, stories, and more. Scratch can be used to make music in a variety of ways.

You can get started right away by trying out this step-by-step guide to learn some of the basics for making music in Scratch.

For additional information you can also check out this video:

Get Started with Sonic Pi:

Sonic Pi is a live coding music synthesizer that allows you to compose or perform music by writing out lines of code. Sonic Pi has even more creative options for making music with code.

  • Download Sonic Pi (click here)
  • Try out the first couple of tutorials under the “Help” section.

Check out this video for additional information on how to use Sonic Pi

Some questions to help you get started:

  • Can you create a melody through code?
  • Can you create a harmony through code?
  • Can you create a beat through code?
  • Can you create music or sound that . . .
    • . . . is based off of a sample code in the Help section of Sonic Pi?
    • . . . reminds you of an old video game?
    • . . . is scary, funny, exciting, boring, silly, relaxing, or colorful?
    • . . . reminds you of a special event, story, or place?
    • . . . you would want to share with a friend or family member?
    • . . . you would want to rap, sing, or play over?
    • . . . you would want to dance to?

Share What You Learned

Write a post or upload a video selfie discussing your experiences with either Scratch or Sonic Pi.

  • What did you like about it?  
  • What challenges did you face?
  • How did you create sound with code?

Curious about learning more?

Find out more about algorithmic sequences for coding and programming music.