Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

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The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation ... continued below

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Krämer, Reiner May 2015.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 630 times , with 31 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Krämer, Reiner

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The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation of what types of systems he has utilized in the analyses of other composers’ music, and the composition of his own music. Twentieth century analyses techniques are formalized within Common Lisp as algorithmic analyses tools. The tools are then combined with techniques developed within other computational music analyses tools, and applied toward the analysis of Cope’s prelude. A traditional music theory analysis of the composition is provided, and outcomes of computational analyses augment the traditional analysis. The outcome of the computational analyses, or algorithmic analyses, is represented in statistical data, and corresponding probabilities. From the resulting data sets part of a machine-learning technique algorithm devises semantic networks. The semantic networks represent chord succession and voice leading rules that underlie the framework of Cope’s prelude.

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  • May 2015

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 9, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

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  • Nov. 15, 2016, 9:53 p.m.

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Krämer, Reiner. Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”, dissertation, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801959/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .