Nice interactive history of generative music

Originally published at:


Tape? How old is this book?

*or non-book media thing

Generative music is music that isn’t traditionally composed.

Perhaps not. But that is very much dependent upon which traditions we may happen to be drawing from, in any given instance. Whenever tradition is vaguely referenced, it would benefit from being indexed in some way. Not unlike the use of an unspecified “ethnic”, the term can invoke assumptions and unfortunate implications.

Furthermore, it could certainly be argued that generative music embodies some of its own traditions.

A fun podcast I can recommend is Composing with Process. I wish these were still being made!

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Really fascinating tour through these techniques. Although it’s a pretty heavy page, and crashed my browser due to the vintage nature of my PC (2007 eMachine running Vista!).

Last fall I worked through another article of his, JavaScript Systems Music
(, which has you replicate three different generative systems in JavaScript in the browser. It’s lots of fun creating your own music machines using the WebAudio API! Tero does a great job explaining and demonstrating these concepts with fairly simple code.

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History, how does it work?

don’t get me started…i read a book on Mozart and it talked about violins. like seriously? those things are older than your mother.

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doing a steve reich…on the OP-1 synth/sampler (a great little machine!)

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