Computer-assisted Composition

The first major work realized by a computer was Lejaren Hiller's - Illiac Suite for string quartet, 1956 (pdf), The first experiment, the first movement of the quartet is made out of examples of species counterpoint.

In Europe, French composer Pierre Barbaud considered on of the "fathers of algorithmic music", was one of the first composers to write pieces with the assistance of the computer in 1958 and to publish books about algorithmic composition. French Gagaku for string orchestra, (1968) was created while Barbaud was working for the Honeywell Bull company in Paris.
Iannis Xenakis - used his work Achorripsis, for 21 instruments (1956-57) as a model for the ST series of pieces realized by running a FORTRAN computer program that includes the same mathematical expressions (stochastic distributions) present in the earlier composition. A grant from IBM-France gave Xenakis access to an IBM-7090 mainframe computer in 1962. Six works for from four to 48 instruments were realized: Atrees (ST/10-3 06 09 62) is one example that includes some fragments - in the third section - that were written "by hand".

Another European composer, Gottfried Michael Koenig worked with Stockhausen, Ligeti, Herbert Brun and developed some of the most sophisticated computer programs for composing music, Project I and Project II. Segmente 1-7 for piano, was realized with Project I.


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