Music and Technology: Algorithmic and Generative Music

Diagram of a cellular automata used for generating musical compositions.

Cellular automaton (CA) algorithms, in which rules define the state of cells in a grid, can be applied to musical composition. (Image by Christopher Ariza.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2010



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course examines the history, techniques, and aesthetics of mechanical and computer-aided approaches to algorithmic music composition and generative music systems. Through creative hands-on projects, readings, listening assignments, and lectures, students will explore a variety of historical and contemporary approaches. Diverse tools and systems will be employed, including applications in Python, MIDI, Csound, SuperCollider, and Pure Data.

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Christopher Ariza. 21M.380 Music and Technology: Algorithmic and Generative Music. Spring 2010. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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