20Concepts Lesson 07 - More About Numbers

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Random Numbers

Random numbers are used in games, gambling, statistical analysis, music, art, randomized design, A.I., computer simulation and even divination. The use of random numbers over the ages has seen the development of many techniques to develop a random output of numbers. Examples are dice, coin flipping, shuffling or playing cards, the use of yarrow sticks in I Ching and others.

Compositions that could be considered a precedent for aleatory composition date back to at least the late 15th century, with the genre of the catholicon, exemplified by the Missa cuiusvis toni of Johannes Ockeghem. A later genre was the Musikalisches Würfelspiel or musical dice game, popular in the late 18th and early 19th century. The term aleatory music was first coined by Werner Meyer-Eppler in 1955 to describe a course of sound events that is "determined in general but depends on chance in detail".[3] American composer John Cage's Music of Changes (1951) is often considered the first piece to be conceived largely through random procedure, although it differed in details from Werner Meyer-Epplers description. The modern use of random numbers in music has become a widespread and commonly practiced technique.


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Filtering Repetitions and Defining Boundaries

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by Darwin Grosse and Cory Metcalf