Algorithmic Composition, Computational Irreducibility, and Parameter Maps

Algorithmic composition is art of composing music by writing and running algorithms. These algorithms usually are implemented as computer programs, although there are notable examples of algorithmic scores computed entirely by hand, e.g. Leonid Hrabovsky’s Concerto Misterioso (many works of Cage could be considered to fall into this category as well).

An algorithm is […]

Composing on My Phone; or, Silence Reborn as Silencio

As mentioned in my previous post, I am developing a system for doing algorithmic music composition, also known as score generation or generative music, on Android smartphones (it also runs on ordinary personal computers).

I’ve named the system Silencio, because it is loosely based on concepts from my earlier, Java Silence package (see: Michael […]

Goal Refinement Department

I find it essential periodically to re-state my musical goal, so as to clarify just what that goal is and what steps I might follow to attain it.

My goal is to make good music, music that I want to hear and that other people will want to hear. And I want to do […]

How to Program

This advice assumes you already are a programmer – but that you want to be a much better one! It reflects my own personal methods, and may not work for everyone. Still, I hope you find it helpful. I know that I myself am a much better programmer now than I was when I […]

Structured Informel

Kristina and I saw Gerhard Richter’s “Abstract Paintings” at the Marion Goodman Gallery today. The paintings grasped me, and the room tilted this way or that depending on which painting held me in its gaze. Some of them — many of them — are quite colorful and beautiful. On the whole, the room had […]

Parametric Composition

Parametric composition is the art of composing music by means of an algorithm whose output can be more or less continuously varied by adjusting a few numerical parameters. If changes in the pieces depend continuously upon changes in the parameters, then related pieces must lie next to each other in the parameter space. Such […]