This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification .(December 2017)
John M. Chowning
August 22, 1934
Salem, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Stanford University, CCRMA|
John M. Chowning ( /ˈtʃaʊnɪŋ/ ; born August 22, 1934 in Salem, New Jersey) is an American composer, musician, discoverer, and professor best known for his work at Stanford University, the founding of CCRMA - Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics in 1975 and his development of the digital implementation of FM synthesis and the digital sound spatialization while there.
Chowning is known for having developed the FM synthesis algorithm in 1967.    In FM (frequency modulation) synthesis, both the carrier frequency and the modulation frequency are within the audio band. In essence, the amplitude and frequency of one waveform modulates the frequency of another waveform producing a resultant waveform that can be periodic or non-periodic depending upon the ratio of the two frequencies.
Chowning's breakthrough allowed for simple—in terms of process—yet rich sounding timbres, which synthesized 'metal striking' or 'bell like' sounds, and which seemed incredibly similar to real percussion (Chowning was also a skilled percussionist). He spent six years turning his breakthrough into a system of musical importance and eventually was able to simulate a large number of musical sounds, including the singing voice. In 1974, Stanford University licensed the discovery to Yamaha,  with whom Chowning worked in developing a family of synthesizers and electronic organs. This was Stanford's most lucrative patent at one time,  eclipsing many in electronics, computer science, and biotechnology.
The first commercial musical instrument to incorporate FM synthesis was the Synclavier I, introduced by New England Digital Corporation in 1977. Their Synclavier II, introduced in 1980, was frequently used in the production of popular music beginning that year. The first Yamaha product to incorporate the FM algorithm was the GS1, a digital synthesizer that first shipped in 1981. Some thought, including Chowning, that it was too expensive at the time. Soon after, in 1983, Yamaha made their first commercially successful digital FM synthesizer, the DX7.
Another important aspect of Chowning's work is the simulated motion of sound through physical space.  In 1972, in his composition Turenas, he was first able to create the illusion of a continuous 360-degree space using only four speakers. 
Chowning graduated from Wittenberg University with a Bachelor of Music in 1959.  He studied music composition for two years (1959–61) with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and received his D.M.A. in 1966 from Stanford, where he studied under Leland Smith. He was the founding director in 1975 of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. 
Chowning also worked for a number of years at IRCAM, in Paris.
Chowning married Elisabeth Keller and they had two children, John and Marianne. John's second marriage is to Maureen (Doody) Tiernay and they had one child named James Scott.[ citation needed ]
One of Chowning's most famous pieces is called Stria (1977). It was commissioned by IRCAM for the Institute's first major concert series called Perspectives of the 20th Century. His composition was noted for its inharmonic sounds due to his famous FM algorithm and his use of the golden mean (1.618...) in music.
Other famous compositions include Turenas (1972), which was one of the first electronic compositions to have the illusion of sounds moving in a 360-degree space.  With Phoné (1980–1981), he became the first to put FM over voice synthesis. 
Additive synthesis is a sound synthesis technique that creates timbre by adding sine waves together.
A digital synthesizer is a synthesizer that uses digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to make musical sounds. This in contrast to older analog synthesizers, which produce music using analog electronics, and samplers, which play back digital recordings of acoustic, electric, or electronic instruments. Some digital synthesizers emulate analog synthesizers; others include sampling capability in addition to digital synthesis.
An electronic musical instrument or electrophone is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical, electronic or digital audio signal that ultimately is plugged into a power amplifier which drives a loudspeaker, creating the sound heard by the performer and listener.
Frequency modulation synthesis is a form of sound synthesis whereby the frequency of a waveform is changed by modulating its frequency with a modulator. The (instantaneous) frequency of an oscillator is altered in accordance with the amplitude of a modulating signal.
The Synclavier is an early digital synthesizer, polyphonic digital sampling system, and music workstation manufactured by New England Digital Corporation of Norwich, Vermont. It was produced in various forms from the late 1970s into the early 1990s. The instrument has been used by prominent musicians.
Digital music technology encompasses digital instruments, computers, electronic effects units, software, or digital audio equipment by a performer, composer, sound engineer, DJ, or record producer to produce, perform or record music. The term refers to electronic devices, instruments, computer hardware, and software used in performance, playback, recording, composition, mixing, analysis, and editing of music.
Wavetable synthesis is a sound synthesis technique used to create quasi-periodic waveforms often used in the production of musical tones or notes.
Granular synthesis is a sound synthesis method that operates on the microsound time scale.
IRCAM is a French institute dedicated to the research of music and sound, especially in the fields of avant garde and electro-acoustical art music. It is situated next to, and is organisationally linked with, the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The extension of the building was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. Much of the institute is located underground, beneath the fountain to the east of the buildings.
The Yamaha DX7 is a synthesizer manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation from 1983 to 1989. It was the first successful digital synthesizer and is one of the best-selling synthesizers in history, selling more than 200,000 units.
The digital sound revolution refers to the widespread adoption of digital audio technology in the computer industry beginning in the 1980s.
Phase distortion (PD) synthesis is a synthesis method introduced in 1984 by Casio in its CZ range of synthesizers. In outline, it is similar to phase modulation synthesis as championed by Yamaha Corporation, in the sense that both methods dynamically change the harmonic content of a carrier waveform by influence of another waveform (modulator) in the time domain. However, the application and results of the two methods are quite distinct.
Distortion synthesis is a group of sound synthesis techniques which modify existing sounds to produce more complex sounds, usually by using non-linear circuits or mathematics.
Yamaha TG77 is the rack-mounted equivalent of Yamaha Corporation's SY77 synthesizer workstation. It, too, is a 16-voice multitimbral music (synthesizer) utilizing Yamaha's Advanced Frequency Modulation; Advanced Wave Memory; and the combination of these two systems, either by layering together or by modulating an AFM voice by an AWM wave, a synergy termed Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis (RCM). The unit came into production in 1989, simultaneously with the SY77.
Yamaha SY77 is a 16 voice multitimbral music workstation first produced by Yamaha Corporation in 1989. The SY77 is a synthesizer whose architecture combines AFM synthesis, AWM2 for ROM-borne sample-based synthesis, and the combination of these two methods christened Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis (RCM). The same technology was also packaged in a rack-mounted module released simultaneously, the TG77.
A synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals. Synthesizers typically create sounds by generating waveforms through methods including subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis and frequency modulation synthesis. These sounds may be altered by components such as filters, which cut or boost frequencies; envelopes, which control articulation, or how notes begin and end; and low-frequency oscillators, which modulate parameters such as pitch, volume, or filter characteristics affecting timbre. Synthesizers are typically played with keyboards or controlled by sequencers, software or other instruments, and may be synchronized to other equipment via MIDI.
The Yamaha YMF278B, also known as the OPL4, is a sound chip that incorporates both FM synthesis and sample-based synthesis by Yamaha.
Xavier Serra is a researcher in the field of Sound and Music Computing and professor at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona. He is the founder and director of the Music Technology Group at the UPF.
The Korg Z1 is a physical modelling sound synthesiser released in 1997. Touted as a polyphonic Prophecy, the Z1 implements 13 synthesis types, all derived from the original OASYS synthesizer.
The OPL series are a family of sound chips developed by Yamaha. The OPL series are low-cost sound chips providing FM synthesis for use in computing, music and video game applications.