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Algorithmic Music

This course is an introduction to music through computer-aided composition. Students learn about music and computing by studying various compositional techniques and using a computer to create music using them. This course is part of Western's general education program.

The goals of this course are:

  • Teach basic music vocabulary: pitches, meters, scales, dynamics, chords, harmonic function
  • Alow students to investigate music in an experiential way
  • Expose students to a variety of musical styles
  • Employ a compositional process that uses successive revision
  • Allow students to find their “voice” in compositions
  • Introduce students to the syntax of computer languages
  • Use a language based on music vocabulary
  • Introduce naming and reuse
  • Use lambda calculus to create abstractions

A slide deck from a presentation on this course: media:music-slides.ppt

Sample Compositions

Film scores:,,,

Rhythmic Composition: media:batacada1.mid

Melody and harmony:

Motivic Development: media:motivic.mid

Chance Music:

Lesson Notes


Composition Projects