Flexatone HFP
Icon
  • System Detail

System: Tabula Vigilans

Authors

Description

Tabula Vigilans (i.e., 'Vigilant Table') is an advanced algorithmic composition language. As a score processor, it can define and replay a huge range of possibilities, from completely conventional melodic and harmonic music to envelope-shaped multi-event textures with random features. It is script-based, meaning that the user writes a text file which is C-like in nature. Many system, musical and mathematical rules can be called within the script, which also supports reading and writing data files, creating procedures whereby sets of modules can be created, MIDI In and MIDI Out, defining MIDI voices and channels, scheduling of events, etc. Tabula Vigilans is a powerful and evolving tool ideal for composers with an interest in programming and in rule-based score generation. Version 1.0 of the MIDI (only) Tabula Vigilans was made available to users through the Composers' Desktop Project from September 1994 on Falcon030 and later, PC platforms. It is sold as a separate, optional program. It comes with full manual in HTML with a frame-based indexing system (Browser supporting HTML 3.2 and above is needed).

References

“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.”

(Full citation)

“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.”

(Full citation)

“... 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.”

(Full citation)

“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...”

(Full citation)

“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.”

(Full citation)

“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.”

(Full citation)

“... 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...”

(Full citation)

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

(Full citation)

“... 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.”

(Full citation)

“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.”

(Full citation)

“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.”

(Full citation)