Readings and Listening

1 Foundations: Algorithmic and generative music systems   bablecast
2 Foundations: Musical parameters, mappings, and tools    
3 Approaches: Distributions and stochastics Ames, C. "A Catalog of Statistical Distributions: Techniques for Transforming Random, Determinate and Chaotic Sequences." Leonardo Music Journal 2, no. 1 (1992): 55-72.  
4 Foundations: Historical and categorical perspectives

Ames, C. "Automated Composition in Retrospect: 1956-1986." Leonardo 20, no. 2 (1987): 169-185.

Ariza, C. "Navigating the Landscape of Computer-Aided Algorithmic Composition Systems: A Definition, Seven Descriptors, and a Lexicon of Systems and Research." In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, San Francisco, CA: International Computer Music Association, 2005. 765-772. (PDF)

5 History: Serialism, loops, tiling, and phasing  

Boulez, Pierre. Structures, Book I (1956-61). Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky, pianos. Boulez: Structures pour deux pianos. Wergo, 1993.

Reich, Steve. Piano Phase (1967). Performed by Double Edge. Early Works. Elektra/Nonesuch, 1992.

Andriessen, Louis. Hout (1991). Bang on a Can All Stars. Giganitic Dancing Human Machine. Cantaloupe Music, 2001.


Babbitt, Milton. Composition for Four Instruments (1948). J. Wummer, S. Drucker, P. Marsh, and D. McCall. Babbitt/Bavicchi. CRI, 1960 (reissued by New World Records, 2010).

6 Workshop    
7 History: Michele Gottfried Koenig

Koenig, G. M. "The Use of Computer Programs in Creating Music." In Music and Technology (Proceedings of the Stockholm Meeting organized by UNESCO), 1971, pp. 93-115. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

———. "Aesthetic Integration of Computer-Composed Scores." Computer Music Journal , no. 4 (1983): 27-32. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Koenig, Gottfried Michael. Terminus X (1967) (Courtesy of Michael Gottfried Koenig. Used with permission.)

———. Three Asko Pieces (1982). Performed by Ensemble 13. Computer Music Currents 2. Wergo, 1989.

8 Approaches: Permutations, generators, and chaos

Ames, C. "A Catalog of Sequence Generators: Accounting for Proximity, Pattern, Exclusion, Balance and/or Randomness." Leonardo Music Journal 2, no. 1 (1991): 55-72.

Voss and Clarke. "’1/f Noise’ in Music: Music from 1/f Noise." J Acoust Soc Am 63, no. 1 (January 1978): 258-263.

9 History: Lejaren Hiller Buy at MIT Press Hiller, L., and L. Isaacson. "Musical Composition with a High-Speed Digital Computer." Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 6, no. 3 (1958): 154-160. Republished as Chapter 1 in Machine Models of Music. Edited by S. M. Schwanauer and D. A. Levitt. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780262193191. [Preview in Google Books]

Hiller, Lejaren, and Leonard Isaacson, Quaret No. 4 (Illiac Suite) (1957). Released on these out-of-print LP recordings:

  • Computer Music from the University of Illinois. LP, Helidor/DG H 25053 or MGM MG 848/849, 1967.
  • Reissued on Lejaren Hiller: Computer Music Retrospective. LP, Wergo WER 60128, 1986.
10 Approaches: Probability and Markov chains

Ames, C. "The Markov Process as a Compositional Model: A Survey and Tutorial." Leonardo 22, no. 2 (1989): 175-187

Ariza, C. "Beyond the Transition Matrix: A Language-Independent, String-Based Input Notation for Incomplete, Multiple-Order, Static Markov Transition Values." 2006. (PDF)

11 Workshop    
12 History: Iannis Xenakis

Xenakis, I. "Free Stochastic Music." In Cybernetics, Art and Ideas. Edited by J. Reichardt. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1971, pp. 124-142. ISBN: 9780821204313.

———. "Xenakis on Xenakis." Perspectives of New Music 25, no. 1-2 (1987): 16-63.


Ariza, C. "The Xenakis Sieve as Object: A New Model and a Complete Implementation." Computer Music Journal 29, no. 2 (2005): 40-60.

Xenakis, Iannis. Achorripsis (1956-1957), Atrées (1960), ST/4 (1962), ST/10-1080262 (1956-1962). Instrumental Ensemble of Contemporary Music, Paris; Konstantin Simonovich, conductor. 20th Century Classics: Xenakis - Atrees / Nomos Alpha. EMI, 2010 (reissue).

———. ST/48. Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; Arturo Tamayo, conductor. Iannis Xenakis Orchestral Works, vol. 5. Timpani Records, 2008.

13 Approaches: Non-standard synthesis

Berg, P. "Composing Sound Structures with Rules." Contemporary Music Review 28, no. 1 (2009): 75-87.

Hoffman, P. "A New GENDYN Program." Computer Music Journal 24, no. 2 (2000): 31-38.


Serra, M. "Stochastic Composition and Stochastic Timbre: GENDY3 by Iannis Xenakis." Perspectives of New Music 31, no. 1 (1993): 236-257.

Xenakis, Iannis. S.709 (1978). Xenakis: Electronic Music. Electronic Music Foundation, 1997.

14 Approaches: Granular and concatenative synthesis

Roads, C. "Introduction to Granular Synthesis." Computer Music Journal 12, no. 2 (1988): 11-13.

Sturm, B. "Adaptive Concatenative Sound Synthesis and Its Application to Micromontage Composition." Computer Music Journal 30, no. 4 (2006): 46-66.

Vaggione, Horacio. 24 Variations, 2002 (Courtesy of Horacio Vaggione. Used with permission.)

15 Approaches: Mapping, sonification, and data bending

Marino, G., M. Serra, and J. Raczinski. "The UPIC System: Origins and Innovations." Perspectives of New Music 31, no. 1 (1993): 258-269.

Ben-Tal, O., and J. Berger. "Creative Aspects of Sonification." Leonardo Music Journal 37, no. 3 (2004): 229-232. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

16 Workshop    
17 Approaches: Cellular automata

Miranda, E. R. "On the Music of Emergent Behavior: What Can Evolutionary Computation Bring to the Musician?" Leonardo 36, no. 1 (2003): 55-59.

Ariza, C. "Automata Bending: Applications of Dynamic Mutation and Dynamic Rules in Modular One-Dimensional Cellular Automata." Computer Music Journal 31, no. 1 (2007): 29-49.

18 Approaches: Genetic algorithms

Biles, J. A. "GenJam in Perspective: A Tentative Taxonomy for GA Music and Art Systems." Leonardo 36, no. 1 (2003): 43-45.

Magnus, C. "Evolving Electroacoustic Music: The Application of Genetic Algorithms to Timedomain Waveforms." In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, 2004. San Francisco, CA: International Computer Music Association. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

GenJam demonstration video by Al Biles (MOV – 17.4MB)
19 Approaches: Grammars and L-Systems Mason, G., and M. Saffle. "L-Systems, Melodies and Musical Structure." Leonardo Music Journal 4 (1994): 31-38.  
20 History: Mechanical musical automata Riskin, J. "The Defecating Duck, or, the Ambiguous Origins of Artificial Life." Critical Inquiry 29, no. 4 (2003): 599-633. (Reprinted in Bill Brown, ed., Things. Chicago, IL University of Chicago Press, 2004.) (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF- 4.1MB)  
21 Workshop    
22 Approaches: Agents and ecological models Rowe, R. "Machine Listening and Composing with Cypher." Computer Music Journal 16, no. 1 (1992): 43-63.

Rowe, Robert. "Shells." Spasm: Works for Bass Clarinet. Michael Lowenstern, bass clarinet & electronics. New World Records 80468, 1996.

Ariza, Christopher. to leave the best untold (2009).

23 Approaches: Expert systems and style emulation

Ebcioglu, K. "An Expert System for Harmonizing Four-part Chorales." Computer Music Journal 12, no. 3 (1988): 43-51.

Cope, D. "Computer Modeling of Musical Intelligence in EMI." Computer Music Journal 16, no. 2 (1992): 69-83.

Cope, David. From Classical Music Composed by Computer: Experiments in Musical Intelligence. Mary Jane Cope, piano. Centaur Records, 1997. (Courtesy of David Cope. Used with permission)

Audio podcast about David Cope's work. "Musical DNA." Radiolab, Episode 202 (September 2007). WNYC/NPR.

24 Discussion: Aesthetics and evaluations

Ariza, C. "The Interrogator as Critic: The Turing Test and the Evaluation of Generative Music Systems." Computer Music Journal 3, no. 2 (2009): 48-70.


Soldier, D. "Eine Kleine Naughtmusik: How Nefarious Nonartists Cleverly Imitate Music." Leonardo Music Journal 12 (2002): 53-58. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF - 4.6MB)

Soldier, David and Richard Lair. "The Birth of Ganesha." Elephonic Rhapsodies, 2004 (Courtesy of David Soldier. Used with permission)

Soldier, David. From The People’s Choice Music (2002) (Courtesy of David Soldier. Used with permission)


25 Sonic system project presentations    
26 Sonic system project presentations (cont.)