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Language grade: C/C++ CII Best Practices Coverage Line Count

All Contributors

Linux MacOs Windows

Gwion is a programming language, aimed at making music

strongly inspired by ChucK, but adding a bunch high-level features:
templating, first-class functions and more.

It aims to be simple, small, fast, extendable and embeddable.


Download the source

You might just want the minimum to start with, try

git clone
cd Gwion
git submodule update --init

Configuring (optional)

You can get a list of config files to tweak with

find . -name ""

Please rebuild to take your change into account.

make -C util clean
make -C ast  clean
make clean

Besides developer options, you migth want to check USE_DOUBLE, in util/, which set the floating point size (float or double). Note that the option you choose must match how you built your soundpipe library (more on soundpipe later).

Executing your first code (

This assumes you have successfully compiled gwion. To build follow these steps . To check, if the build was successfully run


if this gives out some error, there were problems with your compilation. Try building again, and open a issue if the problem persists. We would love to help you out.
If you see no errors, Congratulations!! You have successfully compiled gwion, and can move ahead.

Create a new file "" in the same directory.(You are free to use any command)


Open this file using your favourite text editor


Add the following lines to print "Hello World" (Note the semicolon at the end)

<<< "Hello World" >>>;

Save and exit the file(:wq in vim). Use the following command to run your first gwion program


Congratulations!! You ran your first gwion program.

Making Sound

This section is currently very Linux-centric. We are working to improve that. Pull requests welcome!

Gwion relies on plugins for most of its language features, including all those that make sound. Plugins are located in the subdirectories of plug. To get some sounds going under linux using jack sound server, you can build the plugins Jack, Soundpipe, and Modules.

Starting from the Gwion base directory, to build Jack:

cd plug/Jack

This will give you a shared object file, The default place Gwion will look for plugins is in a subdir of your home directory named .gwplug. So create that directory and move there:

mkdir ~/.gwplug
mv ~/.gwplug

Repeat for the other plugins mentioned. The Soundpipe plugin requires the soundpipe library, which we hope to have build seamlessly for you when you build the Soundpipe module, but we're not quite there yet. Please ask for help if this isn't working.

When all those plugin .so files are in your ~/.gwplug directory, you should be able to run a Gwion program that makes sound! In plug/Modules there's a program which plays a sine wave for 5 seconds. If the gwion you built is still in the base dir of your cloned repo, from the plug/Modules subdirectory you should be able to run ../../gwion -d jack and hear some sound!


It's a good idea to install Gwion now that you have tried it out. Use the following command to install it

sudo make install

You want to know more? 😄 Look here Both outdated and WIP 👷 but a nice place to learn and contribute

Reporting bugs / Contributing

👍 Every helping hand is welcome!!! 👍

If there's anything you see that can make Gwion better, please let us know!

📖 Please see the contributing page for more information.


The whole Chuck team, for inspiration.
Paul Batchelor and the awesome soundpipe library, that got me started.


Thanks goes to these wonderful people (emoji key):

Paul Batchelor

💬 🐛 💻 🤔


💬 🐛 💻

Andrew Prentice

💬 🐛 💻 🤔



Pranav Joglekar

📓 📖


💬 📖 🤔



Nithin Pankaj


Enrico Gruner


Muhammad Umer Farooq


Harsh Jain






Forrest Cahoon


Connor Hewett


This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!

NOTE: if you should be on the list of contributors but we forgot you, don't be shy and let us know!

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