CSC (Centro di Sonologia Computazionale), University of Padova

CSC’S HISTORY: The Centro di Sonologia Computazionale was funded in 1979 at Padova University. The initial research and works in the field of musical informatics date to the beginning of the ’70s. The institute was first located at the  CCA – Centro di Calcolo di Ateneo (the university computing centre). Activites were based on the collaboration between engineers, musicians, academic (the Dep. of Electronic and Informatics and the computing centre) and musical institutions. The idea was “to create an interdisciplinary space where scientific and musical expertise could meet so as to achieve a constant application of theoretical research to the production of music with computer equipment [and] to encourage scientists to investigate and formalise themes which combine musical experimentation with the creative utopias of the composers” [Marinelli, E. ed, Il complesso di Elettra. Mappa ragionata dei centri di ricerca e produzione musicale in Italia,Roma, CIDIM, 1995, pp. 95-98. p . 95].

Engineers Giovanni De Poli, Graziano Tisato and Alvise Vidolin (who graduated at Padua University; the first and the latter were members of the N.P.S. Nuove Proposte Sonore – an electronic music centre operating in Padova in analogic musical research from 1965 to 1972 under the guide of Teresa Rampazzi) had a great interest in sonic art and new digital technologies. Their supervisor, mentor and scientific reference was Giovanni Battista Debiasi who worked in the field of vocal synthesis. The possibility of making use of spaces, machines and computer facilities at the CCA gave them the force to create their first experiments. This magnetized many composers. The centre was officially funded in 1979 with the acronym CSC (Centro di Sonologia Computazionale). The CSC quickly became one of the most important centres in the Seventies and Eighties globally recognised.

In 1976, James Dashow produced Effetti Collaterali for A clarinet and synthesized tape, and Teresa Rampazzi realised the work With the light pen. From then on, over 70 works were realized: among them works by Claudio Ambrosini, Guido Baggiani, Giorgio Battistelli, David Behrman, Anselmo Cananzi, Joel Chadabe, Aldo Clementi, Wolfango Dalla Vecchia, James Dashow, Agostino Di Scipio, Roberto Doati, Franco Donatoni, Mauro Graziani, Hubert Howe jr, Richard Karpen, Jonathan Impett, Albert Mayr, John Melby, Wolfgang Motz, Luigi Nono, Corrado Pasquotti, Teresa Rampazzi, Fausto Razzi, Salvatore Sciarrino, Marco Stroppa, and Richard Teitelbaum.


A brief historical overview of the centre showing the research undertaken within the centre, and technological and musical outputs, is narrated in my article: “Yesterday Sounds Tomorrow. Preservation at CSC”, Journal of New Music, Research, Vol. 30, Issue 4, 2001. Section 2 of the article presents the status of preservation following a scheme which goes from general projects (cataloguing, re-recording), passing through the description of some material realised at the centre (musical pieces, software for performance) and finally describes specific research or projects in audio, software and instrument preservation and/or restoration (at the time of the article writing, in 2001). Section 3 is a consideration of the role of the CSC in the history of electronic music centres. [the article is also available on my page and my researchgate page].

The complete history of the centre (up to 2000) is narrated in my book: Vent’anni di musica elettronica all’università di Padova. Il Centro di sonologia computazionale (2002, co-edited with Sergio Durante).


Laura Zattra, Giovanni De Poli & Alvise Vidolin, “Yesterday Sounds Tomorrow. Preservation at CSC”, Journal of New Music, Research, Vol. 30, Issue 4, 2001.

Laura Zattra – Sergio Durante, Vent’anni di musica elettronica all’università di Padova. Il Centro di sonologia computazionale, Padova Cleup, 2002.


Richard Teitelbaum (standing) and from left to right Joel Chadabe, and Musical Assistants Mauro Graziani and Alvise Vidolin in 1983 [Source:

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