Sonic Pi & Astro Pi’s musical coding challenges

We’re always interested in trying new things, here at Code Club and this week our ever inquisitive Participation Manager Sarah has been learning about Sonic Pi. In this blog, she fills us on on the details of what she found out:

They say you learn something new everyday, and what I learned today was so interesting, that I thought I should share it!

I’ve been learning about SonicPi, using the excellent Getting Started With Sonic Pi guidelines on the Raspberry Pi website, which has been helping me to make music using code!

Sonic Pi is an open-source programming environment, designed for creating new sounds with code in a live coding environment; it was developed by Dr Sam Aaron at the University of Cambridge. He uses the software to perform live with his band and he explains more about the program in his brilliant TEDx talk.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 14.03.21The resource was really easy to follow and straight away I was able to start coding sounds and looping tunes. Sonic Pi includes lots of synth sounds and samples, so it’s really easy get some interesting results straightaway.

Sonic Pi comes pre-installed on the Raspberry Pi, but the good news is that if you don’t have a Raspberry Pi to hand, you can download Sonic Pi for Windows or Mac completely free of charge, and the app includes help to guide you along the way. You can also see examples  of the code used to create awesome sounds on the Sonic Pi website.

IMG_1188Even more exciting, once you have completed your musical masterpiece, you can submit it to the Astro Pi Coding Challenge. The piece of music that wins the challenge will be sent to British Astronaut Tim Peake to listen to…IN SPACE!

Find out how to get involved in this and other Astro Pi Coding Challenges at

The deadline to enter the challenges is 31 March and any school-age student, living in the UK, who will be in primary or secondary education at the start of the 2016 summer term can join in. You can enter as a team or as an individual, and home-educated students are welcome.

Good luck; have fun!