Monday, November 26, 2007

Algorithmic composition

As we discussed in class today, for Wednesday please comment on this post with some possible data sets, and algorithms for manipulating them, that could generate some good-sounding music. Here are links to the Mozart Musikalische Wurfelspiel (Musical Dice Game); a general Wikipedia description; and an automated version that generates pieces for you automatically.

If you have time, also check out David Cope's Experiments in Musical Intelligence, a project at University of California at Santa Cruz in which a computer is "trained" to compose in the style of any composer, from Bach to Gershwin.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

12-tone composition

For Monday, please make a 12-tone row of your choice (or you can use the one we made in class together on Wednesday) and compose a short piece, say 10 or 15 measures. Try using several different forms and transpositions of the row - for instance, you could start with P0, then RI5, then R0, and end with I5.

You can write for any instrument you like, but don't try writing harmony (two notes at once) - just melody, at least for now. You can use Sibelius or other music notation software, or if you like you can write it out by hand. If you run into trouble, please email me - I'm often hanging out near the CAMIL lab, and I'm happy to meet with you for help on composing. Good luck!

Here's a wikipedia article on twelve-tone technique; and here is a page (UIUC net id required) with many listening examples, some of which are twelve-tone; try listening to the following as an introduction:
  • Arnold Schoenberg, Suite opus 25 for piano (7 short pieces)
  • Anton Webern, Variations for piano opus 27
  • Milton Babbitt, "All Set" (12-tone music for jazz band)