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Algorithmic Composition: Computational Thinking in Music

By Michael Edwards

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 54 No. 7, Pages 58-67

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The composer still composes but also gets to take a programming-enabled journey of musical discovery.

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Michael Edwareds

For anyone interested in this topic, I thought now would be a good time to start a blog and mailing list related to algorithmic composition: http://sites.ace.ed.ac.uk/algocomp/



This is my Youtube video of drum exercises - counting in 3, 5, 7, and Pi. It seemed appropriate to share here.

"Intermediate - Independence Exercise

Paradiddles in feet (RLRR LRLL) with groups of 3 ( RRR LLL) on Snare drum ( same note values as feet )

When comfortable and relaxed add counting patterns on top to free your mind from what your muscles are doing. This will also help your ears to be able to focus on other rhythms, melodies and patterns ( Guitar, Bass, Piano...... ) while playing your parts no matter how complicated.

Count groups of 3's, 5's, 7's. Be aware of these patterns that repeat. When you play them long enough you will realize ,notice and locate certain parts or hits that line up with other pattern you are playing. DO NOT FORCE THESE TO SYNC. Them being spot on should be a result of you playing all given parts precisely to the "Time" as it happens.

Knowing this I like practicing counting patterns that don't repeat because it makes it a lot harder for your body to subconsciously force parts to sync. I picked Pi -3.1415926535897...."

Bartosz Dobrzelecki

I have created a collaborative playlist on Spotify that includes most of the works and composers mentioned in the text. Feel free to append more pieces relevant to the subject.


Emre Sevinc

I had great pleasure reading this article (having prepared presentations and reports on AI and music, as well as having dabbled in Common Music, I was happy to learn some surprising points such as strange and negative reactions to Hiller). But I also have to admit I'm a bit surprised to see no reference to Strasheela, "a highly expressive constraint-based music composition system": http://strasheela.sourceforge.net


Nice article, some of David Cope's more recent work is also very interesting to listen to.

There are also a series of algorithmic composition tutorials here


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