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System: Machine For Composing Music

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Description

Machine For Composing Music is generative music software / computer aided composition software for creating Midi and avantMidi compositions and runs on Mac OSX. Based on a musical model that consists of hierarchle structures based on motif material and transformations of these motifs in order to build-up phrases, voices and the final composition. With Machine For Composing music you can quickly explore, improvise and experiment with generating musical compositions and create endless variations of these. It is ideal for both creating ideas and for creating final compositions. If you have an XG based Midi synthesiser you can experiment with creating avantMidi compositions in which the synthesiser is continously bombarded with high densities of SysEx data trajectories which can construct experimental and ambient soundscapes. The basic motif of MCM can be created by 4 different generator types - melodic, chordal, drum-pattern or SysEx/CC. So a motif is not always a motif in its usual sense, but is being called a motif as it is the most basic and lowest level building block of the composition. Each generator has many generator algorithms available and these are being continuosly extended with new algorithms and generator types. MCM also comes with a library containing over 400 drum pattern presets in styles ranging from rock, to samba to ska, and these patterns can be used to create instrumental patterns and not just drums patterns. These motifs are then used to build the phrases. A phrase consists of a selected motif that is repeated N number of times, with a set of possible transformations applied to the motif for each repetition. Transformation include for example tranposition, inversions, retrograde, shuffle, retro-inversion. This also means than the same motif can be used for different parts, but having different transformations and number of repetitions.The overall composition is then designed by selecting which phrases occur overtime by clicking on the overall structure grid. ( The grid in lower part of the above screenshot ) Different compositions can be quickly generated and listened too. It is possible to regenerate individual motifs and any higher compositional elements that reference this motif, will be changed without affected the other elements. These enables to keep things that sound right, whilst adjusting the things you do not quite fit, until the whole composition gels. Final compositions can be saved as Midi files, and imported into other music software for editing and integration. Midi can be send via coreMidi to an external midi synth, or you are able to use QuickTime Musical Instruments.

“The use of computers is the logical outcome of a historical development. It by no means heralds a new musical epoch; it simply offers a fast, reliable and versatile means of solving problems that already demanded solution. The person who writes the computer programme must bear the development of musical language up to the present in mind, and try to advance a stage further.”

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“... the use of numerical machines no longer stands in need of justification. It is not a mystery. If there is a mystery, it is in the mental structures of music and not in the computers, which are only tools, extensions of the hand and the slide rule.”

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“... the individual and the society are deprived of the formidable power of free imagination that musical composition offers them. We are able to tear down this iron curtain, thanks to the technology of computers...”

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“The danger is great of letting oneself be trapped by the tools and of becoming stuck in the sands of technology that has come like an intruder into the relatively calm waters of the thought in instrumental music.”

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“With the development of electronic and computer music, multidemnsionality of sound representation turned out to be both natural and useful. But music goes beyond multidimensionality -- it is even more complex.”

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“... but beware, technique can submerge the user: We must defend ourselves; it is good to use techniques, but we have to dominate them, to stay alert.”

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“... and the hope of an extraordinary aesthetic success based on extraordinary technology is a cruel deceit.”

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“The computing machine is a marvelous invention and seems almost superhuman. But in reality it is as limited as the mind of the individual who feeds it material. Like the computer, the machines we use for making music can only give back what we put into them.”

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“The characteristics of every sound depend on the way in which the sound was produced. Each art-form exploits its special production methods in order to endow the phenomena with unmistakable characteristics. Artistic economy demands that the means be appropriate to the end, and that the exploitation of the means be an end in itself.”

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“Music is then no longer primarily conceived as a guide for premeditated emotions, but as the density of the possible relationships which first become actuality during production under the influence of chance, and which during performance are presented to the listener as sounds beyond any environmental associatiations, independent of bodily actions required to produce sounds...”

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“Composers are now able, as never before, to satisfy the dictates of that inner ear of the imagination. They are also lucky so far in not being hampered by esthetic codification -- at least not yet! But I am afraid it will not be long before some musical mortician begins embalming electronic music in rules.”

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