A blog on algorithmic composition


    Sep 22 2009 | 4:00 pm
    I'd like to make you aware of a website that may be interesting for students and practitioners of computer music.
    http://algocomp.blogspot.com/ is a blog of short lessons on the topic of algorithmic composition -- the use of formal systems to generate music (and, by extension, other types of time-based art) with computer programs. The examples in these lessons are provided in the form of Max programs.
    The fact that nearly each blog entry contains a simple, working, and carefully explained Max program, and the fact that it's structured in more or less progressive chapters, combined with my annoyingly pedantic style of writing, perhaps makes it read like just more Max tutorials, but I think (hope!) it actually has a fair bit of useful general information and philosophical rumination embedded within. It's not about Max, per se, and it really assumes that the reader is already pretty fluent with Max; it's about specific aspects of algorithmic composition and related topics such as interactivity, computer-mediated improvisation, sound synthesis and processing, etc., with demonstrations and explanations of how to implement the ideas in Max. By its structure it may have value as an instructional aid or supplementary reading for university courses, as seems to have been the case with the original Max tutorials.
    Whenever I have the time -- which isn't all that often, but every other week or so -- I'll write a brief essay and accompanying program on a particular concept or technique. The first chapters deal with some pretty basic concepts (a fact which also contributes to its tutorial-like tone), but I see this as just laying the groundwork for deeper topics to come. Whenever possible, I've tried to make the programs include visual examples as well as sonic/musical ones. All that's required to run the programs is Max 5 Runtime. If you find the blog is interesting to you, you can receive RSS notifications of new entries.
    I welcome comments, criticisms, requests, etc.
    --Chris
    Christopher Dobrian Professor of Music 303 Music and Media Building University of California, Irvine Irvine CA 92697-2775
    Tel: (949) 824-7288 Fax: (949) 824-4914 Email: dobrian@uci.edu Web: http://music.arts.uci.edu/dobrian/

    • Sep 22 2009 | 4:58 pm
      That's really cool, Chris. Thanks so much for that.
      David
    • Sep 22 2009 | 7:31 pm
      christopher man. this is fucking great. sorry for some unnecessary swearing, or maybe necessary.
      but this is great stuff man. well done. i will be definitely be hanging in there for a while gandering and messing with what is on offer.
      cheers again...
    • Sep 23 2009 | 6:43 am
      awesome, awesome. thank you very much.
    • Sep 24 2009 | 2:57 pm
      lewis g. edwards wrote on Tue, 22 September 2009 15:31christopher man. this is fucking great. sorry for some unnecessary swearing, or maybe necessary.
      but this is great stuff man. well done. i will be definitely be hanging in there for a while gandering and messing with what is on offer.
      cheers again...
      Ditto! (including the swearing)
    • Sep 24 2009 | 3:20 pm
      Very fine site, thank you very much.
    • Nov 13 2009 | 4:53 pm
      Excellent stuff Christopher. These are great techniques for sparking new ideas.
    • Apr 16 2012 | 2:49 pm
      This is great stuff, currently using it to help with an algorithmic composition assignment at university, thanks!