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Workshop in algorithmic composition

Apr 26 2007 | 10:12 pm

David Cope and I are back….

The fifth Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music (WACM) will take place from June 25 through July 8, 2007 at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). The workshop will be held at UCSC’s Music Center, which features state of the art facilities as well as sweeping vistas of the Monterey Bay. David Cope, Paul Nauert, Peter Elsea, and Soren Goodman will be among those on hand to teach and advise workshop attendees. Participants will take classes on the basic techniques of algorithmic composition and algorithmic music analysis, learning and using the computer programming language Lisp. Participants will create three significant software projects: a Markov-based rules program, a genetic algorithm, and software modeled on the Experiments in Musical Intelligence program. Music analysis software and techniques will also be covered in depth. Many compositional approaches will be discussed in detail including rules-based techniques, data-driven models, genetic algorithms, neural networks, fuzzy logic, mathematical modeling, and sonification. Software programs such as Common Music, Max, Open Music, and so on will also be presented and used.

The workshop is limited to 15 participants to ensure an excellent student/teacher ratio..

The first two days of the workshop are optional and will cover basic Lisp programming. Those individuals with extensive programming experience and/or prior experience using Lisp may not need to attend these first two days.

Each participant will receive a class reference manual, class software in source code, and other printed and software tools and guides relevant to the workshop’s goals. Access to the world class computer music facilities at UCSC will allow performances and special lectures by invited guests. The workshop includes five daily hours of individual computer time (with an advisor close at hand). Each week will culminate in performances of participant works and presentations of analysis and composition software. By the workshop’s end, each participant will have gained facility with Lisp, have written compositional and analytical software programs, and be presented with a CD of their compositions.

Prospective students must have an ability to read music and understand basic music theory as well as have at least a basic facility with computers (text editing, etc.). Students need not be active musicians or programmers. Room and board is available on campus if desired. 5 quarter units of credit is available.

For information on the fifth annual (2007) Workshop on Algorithmic Computer Music (WACM) go to

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