Computer Music History

Some early musicians to use electronics in their performances.

David Cope was a pioneer of algorithmic composition. The program he wrote is named Emmy. Compare this composition to an original Vivaldi and see if you can spot the difference.

Black Midi is a type of computer music that relies on using many notes. It can only be played by a computer.

Max Programming


Can you spot the difference in these two patches? Why do they behave differently? One is using “Integers” (whole numbers) and the other is using “Floats” (decimal numbers).


Hot vs Cold

In Max, inputs can be hot or cold. Usually, the input on the left is hot, and the others are cold. When a hot input changes, the program will rerun the computation. When a cold input changes, the program will not rerun the computation, but next time the computation does run it will use the new value.


Using this knowledge let’s try to make a more advanced program that can make music. We will start with the program we build last week, and improve upon it.


Homework due (4/5)

Create a program that plays pleasant music like the one we made in class. Make a recording with audacity and post it to soundcloud. This will require that you make a soundcloud account. Once you have uploaded the audio file, post the link on the LMS page.

If you like, you can model your program off of this one