TidalCycles - the book?

I’ve been wanting to write a book about Tidal for absolutely ages, so here’s a start:

Feedback welcome!


I think this is a fantastic idea, and multiple people have suggested this to me in the past, so I believe it would be a valuable resource for many people.

Sometimes I wonder what the value of a TidalCycles book would be if there is already a user-editable documentation site. However, people learn in different ways and the book format could just be better for some people’s learning styles. Also, a book can be structured and organized with a specific goal or vision that is probably more difficult to achieve with a user-editable wiki. The wiki presents itself more as a set of single documentation pages. I know we have some longer tutorials on the wiki too, but they have to fit into that single-page wiki format.


A fair point, @kindohm. I understand that current scientific consensus on ‘learning styles’ is that we all learn in pretty similar ways.

I’m not even sure what I mean by ‘book’. I have romantic memories of absorbing the O’Reilly classics, and think the demise of physical books is overstated… But I don’t think I want to write a book that wasn’t freely available under a creative commons license. It’s also difficult to write about Tidal without a lot of audio examples, and although having example worksheets separate from the text would work, it’d be nicer to have the audio (or even, editable and runnable code) embedded in the text.

But still it’s something I’d like to do, even though I’m not sure what it is :slight_smile: The online documentation is out of date and incomplete enough to make it worthwhile, I think. Especially since my understanding of what Tidal is has developed somewhat recently…

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It’s a fantastic idea, I’d love to read such a book and I’ll happily translate it to French (if you want).

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About docs, have you ever considered using a tool like haddock or tintin to attach documentation to the code?

Sorry for the very slow reply @ndr_brt!

Yes we’ve looked at this, and there is some haddock documentation in the code, which hackage renders http://hackage.haskell.org/package/tidal-1.4.3/docs/Sound-Tidal-UI.html

Documenting Tidal as an API is a different kind of project, though.

I would buy the book for sure!

I’ve put a draft up for the first chapter, on the mini-notation: