Algorithmic Composition

Paradigms of Automated Music Generation

  • Gerhard Nierhaus

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Pages 1-6
  3. Pages 67-82
  4. Pages 83-120
  5. Pages 121-130
  6. Pages 157-186
  7. Pages 187-204
  8. Pages 225-258
  9. Pages 259-273
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 275-287

About this book


Algorithmic composition – composing by means of formalizable methods – has a century old tradition not only in occidental music history. This is the first book to provide a detailed overview of prominent procedures of algorithmic composition in a pragmatic way rather than by treating formalizable aspects in single works. In addition to an historic overview, each chapter presents a specific class of algorithm in a compositional context by providing a general introduction to its development and theoretical basis and describes different musical applications. Each chapter outlines the strengths, weaknesses and possible aesthetical implications resulting from the application of the treated approaches. Topics covered are: markov models, generative grammars, transition networks, chaos and self-similarity, genetic algorithms, cellular automata, neural networks and artificial intelligence are covered. The comprehensive bibliography makes this work ideal for the musician and the researcher alike.


Algorithmic Composition Automated Music Computer Composition Computer Music Generative composition Music Paradigms Nierhaus algorithms artificial intelligence automata

Authors and affiliations

  • Gerhard Nierhaus
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM)University of Music and Dramatic ArtsGrazAustria

Bibliographic information