Algorithmic Music Composer

WolframTonesWolfram Research Labs has created a new site, WolframTones, that explores applying Stephen Wolfram’s mathematical theories to the creation of music.

The site is based on ideas from Wolfram’s book, A New Kind of Science.

At the core of A New Kind of Science is the idea of exploring a new abstract universe: a “computational universe” of simple programs. In A New Kind of Science, Wolfram shows how remarkably simple programs can capture the essence of the complexity and beauty of many systems in nature.

WolframTones works by taking simple programs from Wolfram’s computational universe, and using music theory and Mathematica algorithms to render them as music. Each program in effect defines a virtual world, and WolframTones captures it as a musical composition.

It’s all original music, created dynamically. And, as you might imagine, most of it sounds terrible.

But some of it sounds interesting – so check it out and let me know what you think.

6 thoughts on “Algorithmic Music Composer

  1. Like it or not, Wolfram’s mathematics are highly influential in the world of music. It seems like he’s reluctantly getting involved with the industry though. Last I heard he had published various papers with far-reaching implications but had only started to get involved directly himself because no one who read his papers were. I’m willing to bet if some musicians took the time to understand his work it would be a different ball game. Come to think of it, why aren’t any of the MAX/MSP crowd all over Wolfram’s papers?

  2. Synth fan – I agree with you to a certain extent.

    One of the reasons Wolfram’s generated music sounds so bad is that it uses terrible sounding instruments. Collaborating with musicians working in the styles that he’s trying to emulate might make this a lot more interesting.

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