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Composing Music with Computers by Eduardo Miranda

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3  Probabilities, grammars and automata

3.1  Probabilities

The idea of devising systems for composing music using randomness has always fascinated composers, especially after the invention of the computer. But the raw outcome of a random process seldom fulfils of the expectations of exigent composers: they often prefer to assess its suitability for inclusion in their music according to their aesthetic preferences and musical aims. The conditions under which the randomly generated elements are used are therefore crucial for a composition.

The reason that randomness has gained so much popularity in the computer age is probably because computers can actually do better than just throwing a die or tossing a coin: they can be programmed to perform ...

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