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Constructionist Learning with Pure Data: A Graphical Environment for Audio and MIDI Programming

An understanding of the fundamental concepts of digital audio, synthesis, and MIDI is essential to success in the fields of audio and music technology. While computer software should support such understanding, commercial software often hides the mechanics of audio and MIDI processing under a layer of outdated skeuomorphs and limitations inherited from analog equipment. Audio programming languages assume a high level of preexisting theoretical knowledge. Pure Data, in contrast, encourages Constructionist learning with its intuitive and engaging user interface. I describe several Constructionist aims and provide examples of how Pure Data can be utilized in an audio, synthesis, or music technology course to achieve these goals.

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