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  • Instructions to Contributors

The following instructions apply to articles. (To submit a review, visit

Manuscripts should be sent both electronically (to, with a subject line that includes "[CMJ MS]" and the first author's surname) and in hard copy (to Douglas Keislar, Editor, Computer Music Journal, 2550 9th Street #207B, Berkeley, California 94710, USA). If you do not receive an acknowledgment within one week, please inquire.

Before submitting a manuscript, study the Journal's guidelines, manuscript template, and style and spelling guide, available at Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that the editors may revise them for clarity and to conform to the Journal's style. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by at least two anonymous referees, and authors are sent proofs before publication.

Copyright Policy.

Manuscripts are received with the understanding that they represent original material, are not being considered for publication elsewhere, and will not be posted to the Internet nor otherwise publicly distributed, except by MIT Press. Authors will be requested to sign a transfer of copyright to MIT so that authors and publishers may be protected from misuse of copyrighted material. If an earlier version has been or will be published in conference proceedings, please send it also; extensive rewording and substantive additions are required.

Acceptable Formats.

Manuscripts must be submitted in two versions: (1) an anonymous version as a PDF file, and (2) a non-anonymous version, both on paper and as PDF. Attach the PDFs to an email that also mentions any supplementary media examples. In the anonymous version, omit the by-line, author addresses, acknowledgments, and unnecessary mentions of your institution. Also replace each obvious self-citation (and the corresponding entry in the References list) with "Reference removed for anonymity," but retain the year.


Please put your text into the Journal's Word (preferred) or LaTeX template, then apply the appropriate style to every paragraph, including headings, code examples, references, etc. Start with an abstract of about 200 words. All material should be double-spaced, including references and figure captions. Put page numbers in the page header or footer. In the page setup, use Letter size, not A4. The submitted material should not exceed 25 pages, including references and figures. If possible, insert figures into the document where first discussed; otherwise, supply figures separately and use clearly visible figure callouts in the text, e.g., "(INSERT FIGURE 3 ABOUT HERE)." Using a PDF utility, generate a PDF file from the Word or LaTeX version.

Editing Guidelines.

Articles should be presented in a formal essay style, with a single flow of text. Use parenthetical expressions sparingly, and write in complete sentences. The Journal uses neither footnotes nor lists of bulleted items.

There are, at most, three levels of headings. Sections are not numbered. Their titles are printed with initial uppercase letters on all important words (not all uppercase).

The running text must mention each figure: e.g., "Figure 3 demonstrates this dependency." The first mentions must appear in the same order as the figures.

Italicize the first use of a new termor item of jargon; do not use italicization or fonts for emphasis. Program code, however, uses a fixed-width font.


Cite references in the text by author's last name and year of publication, in parentheses with no comma. Multiple citations from the same author are separated by commas, e.g., "(Ariza 2004, 2006)." Citations from different authors use semicolons, e.g., "(Roads 1981; Roads and Pope 1997)."

References should be listed (unnumbered) alphabetically—chronologically for a particular author—at the end of the article. List cited references only. The Journal uses the Chicago Manual of Style format, with periods separating most items:

  • Harley, J. 2011. "Formatting References." Computer Music Journal 13(3):51-55.

  • Leider, C., and B. Terry. 1996. "All About References." Proceedings of the 1996 International Computer Music Conference, pp. 51-54.

  • Makan, K., G. Tzanetakis, and L. Wyse. 2004. Book References. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

See the style guide for more examples.


The Journal publishes algorithms but not program listings. Algorithms should be described in a well-known programming language and...


Additional Information

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