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Thoughts on Creative Evolution: A Meta-generative Approach to Composition

Journal article
Authors Palle Dahlstedt
Published in Contemporary Music Review
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 43-55
ISSN 0749-4467
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Academy of Music and Drama
Pages 43-55
Language en
Keywords Evolutionary Algorithms; Generative Music; Music Composition; Creativity; Computer Music
Subject categories Computer Science, Musicology


Numerous composers have used evolutionary algorithms to create music and sound. Such techniques can navigate vast spaces of possible results in a directed search, and they can be applied to supervise virtually any generative process, and hence operate on a metagenerative level. Based on nine years of work in the field, as composer, musician, researcher and developer, the author gives his view on how evolutionary algorithms can be used as creative tools in the compositional process, and shares his experiences of how these systems can be designed to work well, from a composer’s viewpoint. Their limitations, aesthetic implications and idiomatics are also discussed.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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