November 16, 2017


SUBJECT:    UC San Diego Pioneering Computer Music Researcher F. Richard Moore Passes

Regarded as a pioneering researcher and inspiring mentor who made seminal contributions to the evolution of computer music, UC San Diego Department of Music Emeritus Professor F. Richard Moore died on Sept. 29, 2017. He was 73.

After earning his BFA in music from Carnegie Mellon University, Moore was engaged by Bell Laboratories to work with Max Mathews on some of the first applications of computers to sound and music, contributing to the development of the GROOVE digital/analog hybrid electronic music system, and Music V, one of the first software environments for generating music. Moore then went to Stanford University, where he earned the MSEE and Ph.D. degrees in electrical/computer engineering (1977), and where he designed and built the FRMbox, one of the first real-time digital music synthesizers.

Professor Moore joined the Department of Music faculty in 1979, where he founded the Computer Audio Research Laboratory (CARL project) at the Center for Music Experiment and Related Research, directing the center from 1982 to 1991.

He contributed to the growing body of research literature on computer music with a series of widely cited journal articles, including "Table Lookup Noise for Sinusoidal Digital Oscillators" (1977, Computer Music Journal.), "A General Model for Spatial Processing of Sound" (1983, Computer Music Journal), and "The Dysfunctions of Midi" (1988, Computer Music Journal). He also co-authored several books, including "The Technology of Computer Music" (1969) with J.C. Risset, Max Mathews and others, and "The Science of Sound" (2002) with Thomas Rossing and Paul Wheeler. In 1990 Moore published the widely used reference "Elements of Computer Music."

Later in his career, he collaborated with UC San Diego professors Jaime Pineda and Erik Viirre on novel research into treatments for tinnitus, and published "Tinnitus Treatment with Customized Sounds" (2008, International Tinnitus Journal). He was deeply involved in speculative thinking about potential applications of quantum computing to music.

Professor Moore created courses and programs to integrate computer and electronic music and musical acoustics into the curriculum, and for years offered a very popular course (Music 7 - "Music, Science, and Computers") that was taken by thousands of UC San Diego students from across the campus. His ideas and work ethic were inspiring to generations of new researchers and younger faculty. In addition to his nine-year tenure as director of the Center for Music Experiment, Moore made many other leadership contributions to the department and campus, serving as department chair for four years, and working to develop the initial curriculum for Sixth College and the Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts major (ICAM).

Housed in the UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities, the Department of Music was one of the first to develop computer music research and instructional programs due in large part to the leadership of Professor Moore. He will always be remembered as a central figure in the development of computer music, and as an excellent teacher and colleague.

"F. Richard Moore was a truly extra-ordinary person with immense capacity," University Professor Roger Reynolds expressed. "He was, in the deepest of ways, an admirable colleague and a friend."

The Moore family held services Saturday, Nov. 11 on the La Jolla Shores beach, near the Scripps Memorial Pier. Condolences may be sent to the Department of Music, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0099; (858) 534-3230.

Cristina Della Coletta
Division of Arts and Humanities

David Borgo
Professor and Chair
Department of Music