The Use of Algorithms in Music
A Case Study of my piece 'On the Edge' for Cello
By Ali Riza SARAL
April 11, 2017
• Creativity is a phenomenon whereby
something new and somehow valuable is
formed. The created item may be intangible
(such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical
composition, or a joke) or a physical object
(such as an invention, a literary work, or a
Webster -Definition of creativity
• 1: the quality of being creative
• 2 : the ability to create
• her artistic creativity
Definition of create-transitive verb
• 1 : to bring into existence
• … God created the heaven and the earth. — Genesis 1:1
• 2 a : to invest with a new form, office, or rank
• She was created a lieutenant.
• b : to produce or bring about by a course of action or
• Her arrival created a terrible fuss. create new jobs
• 3 : cause, occasion Famine creates high food prices.
• 4 a : to produce through imaginative skill
• create a painting
• b : design creates dresses
Definition of create-intransitive verb
• 1 : to make or bring into existence something
• an artist who is good at imitating but not
• 2 : to set up a scoring opportunity in
• create off the dribble
• Computer aided design
• Human Aided Computer Creativity
• Is consciousness a prerequisite for creativity?
Consciousness vs subconsciousness
• The role of subconscious in creativity
• Creativity requires direction towards creating
a being, a unity
• Currently available functions such as random()
• Does not provide direction
• Even the random function requires a seed
value to create a random number.
• Random values and other direction markers
maybe automatically produced from other
material, similar style music pieces etc.
• These have to be provided and programmed
by the human, composer.
MuseScore & JFugue
• I created MIDI sequences using Jfugue.
• Then I exported the outputs as MIDI files.
• I imported the MIDI files to MuseScore.
• This corresponds to the computer creativity
• I used random functions and note lists. The
computer chooses randomly which sounds to
• My role as a composer is to limit and direct
the random behaviour of the computer.
At the Edge for Cello
At the Edge – Cello Suite (2016) by Ali R+ SARAL
Bagatelle, Barcarolle, Rhapsody
15 min. Long
Dedicated to Daria B. from Germany
• Analyze Jfugue codes for music generation
• produceMusic() subroutines
• String note=
• int seriesLength=9;
• Randomly play