2009-02-18 Barry Jones Lecture

Barry Jones
Department of Computer Science
Vassar College
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
OLB Classroom 105, 5pm
The Composer's Intelligent Assistant

Composers throughout the ages have used various algorithms or methodologies to help them in the process of creating music. More recently we have begun to see the use of computer-based composition algorithms in the creation of musical works.

Most computer-based algorithmic composers work independently of a human composer; however a computer system that works with a composer as an intelligent assistant offers the possibility of including authentic human emotions in the resulting composition. An intelligent assistant would need to understand the music that has been composed in the partially completed work to suggest possibilities that 'make sense' during the process of composition.

In this talk we explore the history of algorithmic composition. We introduce David Cope's experiments in musical intelligence to expose a broad view of the issues involved. We also explore the use of musical patterns in the composition process. In particular, we examine Joseph Schillinger's pattern-based composition methods. Comparisons are drawn between Schillinger's music composition methodology and Christopher Alexander's pattern-based architectural design methodology.