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Generative Music

My recent obsession has been the ever-changing performance environment of Generative Music.

I could write for days on the subject using highfalutin phrases and poorly worded analogies. Though, I doubt writing could express the emotion and wonder I experience when exploring a generative piece. 

For those unfamiliar with what to expect when experiencing a generative audio piece, there are a few components to keep in mind. For those familiar with the medium, I propose the following as key aspects of generative music presentation.


What environment is the piece presented in?

Is the piece presented through headphones, speakers, real-world sounds, etc.?

Audio Content

It the music synthesized? If so, is it synthesized in real-time? Pre-recorded?

Is the music using samples and real-world audio recordings?

Procedural System

What is driving the music? Random value generators? Real-time events?


Is there a performer interacting with the system?

Is the listener interacting with the system?

This is in no way a comprehensive list of things to consider, but it may allow those familiar and unfamiliar with the medium to better categorize and analyze their experience.

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