Real-time composition: Its applications and educational potential

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    In this paper, I discuss the notion of Real-Time Composition (RTC) as a practice that has emerged and being consolidated with the increasing use of controllable real-time generative music algorithms. I define RTC as a “Compositional practice utilizing interactive music systems in which generative algorithms with a non-deterministic behavior are manipulated by a user during performance” (Guedes 2008). By looking at the relationship between RTC and improvisation I will provide an ontology for RTC as a practice that involves interaction between two entities that exhibit non-deterministic behaviors that can be programmed, negotiated, or induced during a performance. RTC was developed through the use of interactive music systems, and is nowadays more or less ubiquitous. The principle of RTC can be also be employed in performance involving just humans, and parallels between RTC and musical practices involving improvisation — namely Jazz, Hindustani and Carnatic music practices — will be discussed.
    Finally, I will discuss how RTC systems can be used as educational tools that have a potential to educate and enculturate users in different musical styles in innovative ways. I will discuss some past work I did in this area as well as more recent work within the research done by the Music and Sound Cultures research (MaSC) group at New York University Abu Dhabi. CaMel, a generative model for percussive sequences in Carnatic style will be presented, and aspects pertaining its development will be discussed in terms of how a data-driven approach combined with domain knowledge about Carnatic music has been implemented in order to make the application generate sequences on this style. The successes and failures in the development of CaMel will be shown as well as how this combined approach has generated new interesting questions on the implementation of computational knowledge about Carnatic music percussion.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)33-40
    JournalJournal of Power Electronics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2019


    • Music
    • Improvisation
    • Computational modeling
    • Music education


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