James Tenney (b. 1934, Silver City, New Mexico - 2006, Valencia, California) was a pioneering figure in the field of electronic and computer music. He collaborated with Max Mathews and others at Bell Telephone Laboratories in the early 1960's to develop programs for computer sound-generation and composition. He attended the University of Denver, the Juilliard School of Music, Bennington College (B.A., 1958) and the University of Illinois (M.A., 1961). A performer as well as a composer and theorist, he was co-founder and conductor of the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in New York City (1963-70) and has performed with ensembles of Harry Partch, John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass

Tenney is the author of META+HODOS: A Phenomenology of 20th Century Musical Materials and an Approach to the Study of Form, and META Meta+Hodos (Frog Peak Music, 1988) and A History of 'Consonance' and 'Dissonance' (Excelsior Music Publishing, 1988). He received grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Fromm Foundation,  the DAAD (Germany) and the Jean A. Chalmers Award for his work Critical Band. He taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, the California Institute of the Arts, and the University of California, and York University in Toronto.