Making music with Free/Libre/Open tools

Long Form


The range of options for music-making on GNU/Linux with free/libre/open tools stretches from music-focused programming languages like CSound and PureData to simple tools like Audacity, Ardour, Guitarix, Hydrogen, and Musescore which are accessible to novice members of the general public.

We'll explore the options for different sorts of musical creativity, focusing on the basic tools and how to get them set up effectively on GNU/Linux. In the session, we'll produce some brief compositions and recordings as we explore the software.


The world of GNU/Linux music software offers lots of potential but is still a bit rough and confusing to newcomers. This session, aimed at beginners, will cover practical matters of using tools like JACK, KXStudio, Musescore, Audacity, Ardour, and others. Learn how to get started with all sorts of creative audio and music without proprietary software!

Participants are encouraged to bring a GNU/Linux laptop to try experimenting with some of the tools discussed, but anyone will be welcome to simply listen and learn from the presentation otherwise. Complete beginners welcome, musical training not required.


music, education, linux

Speaking experience

I taught a mult-week class for young students covering much of this topic, but I haven't specifically done a comparable session for an audience such as the OSB attendees. I've presented both longer talks and lightning talks at various conferences and local groups, some of which are referenced at the page connected with my project, See