Week 3 (Jan.25) – Proposal Draft

Reading material for today:

Truax, B. (1986). Computer music language design and the composing process. InĀ The language of electroacoustic musicĀ (pp. 155-173). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Proposal (draft)

  • History/Background – From instrumental music to computer music
  • Changing Roles of Music: There is no definite or final version of a computer music piece because the program output is not limited by instruments and the user can never predict how the system generates the user’s intentions. And the computer music is not only hearable but visible in a graphic form as well mostly because in softwares, the users compose music basing on parameters but not notes. What’s more, in times of instrumental music, low level skill of playing an instrument results in worse music, but in computer music, simple input can generate well-performed music through smart and well-controlled systems. (Question: Can we still name computer music “music” ? or should we just call it composed sound?)
  • Composing Process: It is not simple representation of sounds. For most time, the user makes a new kind of music. “the important ingredient is that the program offers data manipulation tools which correspond to the perceptual and musical concepts of the user”
  • Human Actions: What the user does is more machine learning or let’s say software experience than arrangement of the note flows. And in the composing process, the user is cooperating with many things but not merely a computer.
  • Question: What a musical softwares can’t do?


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1 thought on “Week 3 (Jan.25) – Proposal Draft”

  1. The core term in your draft is “composing”. Specifically framing your questions around composition, allows your final question (“What is that music authoring softwares cannot do?”) to be expanded to expose its implicit concern: what is the role of a composer in an era of machine augmentation?

    Do you have any experience playing traditional instruments? Improvising?

    Think of a jazz sax player: the explosions of sound generated operate as explorations of potentialities latent within the technological structure of the instrument. In the terminology of this class, the set of possible sounds offered by an instrument extend into a topological network, a complex system of dynamic potentialities that continuously expand as new musicians evolve novel ways of establishing sonic space.

    Think of a MaxMSP patch: the recursion and randomization of its processes create a semi-autonomous system.

    There are many directions you could go here. I look forward to seeing what you evolve.

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