Musical Organisms

A Generative Approach to Growing Musical Scores
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10783)


In this paper, we describe the creation of Musical Organisms using a novel generative music composition approach modeled on biological evolutionary and developmental (Evo Devo) processes. We are interested in using the Evo Devo processes that generate biological organisms with diverse and interesting structures—structures that exhibit modularity, repetition, and hierarchy—in order to create diverse music compositions that exhibit these same structural properties. The current focus of our work has been on Musical Organism development. Our Musical Organisms are musical scores that develop from a single musical note, just as a biological organism develops from a single cell. We describe the musical genome and the non-linear dynamical processes that drive the development of the Musical Organism from single note to complex musical score. While the evolution of Musical Organisms has not been our central focus, we describe how evolution can act upon genomic variation within populations of Musical Organisms to create new Musical Organism species with diverse and complex structures. And we introduce the concept of genome embedding as a unique method for generating genetic variation in a population, and developing structural modularity in Musical Organisms.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Digital Media and Design DepartmentUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.SynfulBoulderUSA

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