Computer Music - Spring 2014/HW6

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Math and Music

Choose one of the following:

Tuning and Temperament

Using the sound synthesis part of Euterpea, investigate at least two different tunings that are different from the usual even-tempered or naturally tempered scales. Create a small piece which shows off both the melodic and harmonic aspects of your scale. Use the note-based style of composition but change the part in which pitch numbers are converted to frequencies.


Investigate Phase Music. Here's an example:

Your composition should use multiple phasing effects, including different melodic lines, different numbers of instruments, and different relative tempos. Please make a composition that has some structure beyond just phasing!

Mathematical Rhythms

Consider the following piece by Xenakis: - this uses modular arithmetic to create patterns. Create a percussive composition which uses mathematical formulas to create interesting textures. Work with different instruments, accents, and patterns in your piece.


Andy will present his work on Monday. The idea is to convert a sequence of chaotic numbers into a composition by using different voices, rhythms, and lines into a coherent composition.

Here are some examples:

Sound Clouds

This is a technique where different instruments purposely play without rhythm in a random style.

This was performed by the percussion ensemble and has sections in which this sort of chaos is found: