ALGORITHMIC COMPOSITION

Selected Research Topic

Korean National University of Arts

Fall 2003

Professor Christopher Dobrian

Readings

Seminar Discussions

Programming Projects

Final Programming/Composition Project

Study of historical and experimental approaches to formalizing the compositional process, including statistical probability, mathematical formulae, computer programming paradigms, sonification of non-musical data, artificial intelligence, learning systems, and interactive systems.

- Why algorithmic composition?
- Formalizing the compositional process
- Sonifying a formal process

- The matter of taste: intuition, system, and the arbitrary

- Pre-computer examples of algorithmic composition
- Mozart
*"Musical Dice Game"* - Webern
*Op. 27, mvt. II* - Lucier,
*I am sitting in a room* - Reich,
*Pendulum Music* - Cage,
*Music of Changes* - Nancarrow,
*Study 21*

- Mozart
- What is "the beat"? Where is it?
- Determinants of "beat" in sound

- Systematic choice of pitch
- The formalization of harmonic practice
- The role of pitch in computer music

- Mapping
- Linear
- Exponential and logarithmic
- Non-linear formulae
- Table lookup
- Sieves and interpolation
- Mapping more than one dimension to one parameter
- Mapping one dimension to more than one parameter ("cross-coupling")

- Randomness
- What is random?
- Pseudo-randomness, complexity, and comprehension
- Random sieves
- Constrained randomness
- Random walk
- Weighted randomness
- Relation of randomness to "noise" (at many levels of meaning)

- Probability
- What is probability?
- Meyer on probability in music
- Moles on information theory
- Entropy and predictability
- Markov processes

- Artificial Intelligence
- Heuristics
- Game theory
- Learning systems
- Neural networks
- Genetic algorithms
- Fuzzy logic, fuzzy math

- Sonification of mathematical and logical formulae
- Iterative functions and recursive functions
- Emergent systems and artificial life

- Mathematical and serial approaches to tempo and rhythm
- Polyrhythm
- Time-point approaches
- Metric modulation
- Periodicity and tempo

- The meaning of "form" in the 21st century
- Formal levels
- Open form
- Generative grammar
- Form and content (abstraction and representation)
- Emergent form

- The relationship of sight and sound
- Graphic representations of sound
- Perception of symmetry and balance

- Issues of cognition, creativity, and interactivity in realtime composition

Discussions and presentations of final projects