Dissertation Index

Author: Burns, Kristine H.

Title: The History and Development of Algorithms in Music Composition, 1957-93

Institution: Ball State University

Begun: February 1993

Completed: April 1994


The purpose of this dissertation is to trace the history and development of algorithms in music composition from ca. 1957 to 1993 and to clarify related terminology from the contexts of computer science, information science, and music theory and composition. The term "algorithm" has been adopted from the fields of computer science and information science; however, in some cases its misappropriation has caused confusion in meaning. The dissertation consists of three main sections, beginning with an extensive definition of the term algorithm. Historically and currently, there are three major approaches to algorithmic composition with computers: 1) algorithms for sound synthesis; 2) algorithms for compositional structure; and 3) algorithms for the correlation of sound synthesis with structure. This dissertation will trace developments from the latter two categories, algorithms for the generation of the micro- and macrostructural elements of music composition.

Keywords: algorithm, music, composition, information science, computer science


Chapter 1--Description of the Dissertation
Chapter 2--Terminology
Chapter 3--A Review of the Literature
Chapter 4--Algorithmic Developments Prior to 1957
Chapter 5--Principle Composers of Algorithmic Composition, 1957-1972
Chapter 6--Intermediate Developments in Algorithmic Composition
Chapter 7--Algorithms in Music Composition, 1983-1993
Chapter 8--Chronological List of Algorithmic Compositions, 1957-1993
Chapter 9--Conclusion


36 N. Pleasant St. #8, Oberlin, OH 44074
216-774-4225, 775-8748, FBURNS@ocvaxa.cc.oberlin.edu

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