MIDI-Connect4 is a program that composes music from the unfolding of a board game, Hasbro’s Connect 4™.
The system uses evolutionary computation to evolve from scratch a neural network that plays the Connect 4 game. Music is produced when a user plays the game against the system. The system generates music by associating the moves of each player with musical forms (see above).
The program was inspired by a musical event called Reunion, which was conceived by John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, and Teeny Duchamp in 1968, in which sounds were spatially distributed around a concert audience as a chess game unfolded.
This according to “Composition as game strategy: Making music by playing board games against evolved artificial neural networks” by Eduardo Reck Miranda and Qijun Zhang, an article included in Proceedings of the 31st International Computer Music Conference (San Francisco: International Computer Music Association, 2005).
Below, the game’s intrinsic acoustical properties.
Routledge inaugurated the series Routledge studies in music theory on 3 April 2012 with Music and twentieth-century tonality: Harmonic progression based on modality and the interval cycles by Paolo Susanni and Elliott Antokoletz.
The book explores the web of pitch relations that generates the musical language of non-serialized 12-tone music, and supplies the analytical materials and methods necessary for analyses of a vast proportion of the 20th-century musical repertoire.
The first Russian-language electronic journal for contemporary art music, Dialettica del suono, was launched in 2011 as a joint project of the independent creative association Диалектика Звука (Dialectic of Sound) and the Молодежное Отделение Союза Композиторов (МолОт/The Youth Department of the Union of Composers).
The journal, edited by Дионис Афоничев, is published twice a year and is available online in PDF format. Dialettica del suono provides a publication platform mainly for young professional musicians, musicologists, composers, and critics. A supplement with scores by young Russian composers is appended to each issue.
In 2011 Pfau-Verlag launched Schriften der Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik, a series devoted to writings by members of the Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik. The first book in the series is Mind the gap! Medienkonstellationen zwischen zeitgenössischer Musik und Klangkunst, which presents essays focusing on works that explore the gaps between media formats in the contemporary music scene.
Launched by the Fundación Juan March in 2011, Clamor: Colección Digital de Música Española presents open-access documentation of performances of over 800 Spanish works—mostly from the 20th or 21st century—at over 130 concerts presented by the Foundation since its inception in 1975.
In addition to the concert recordings, this resource presents pre-concert talks given by composers or specialists, program notes, scores, photographs, and over 230 composer biographies and works lists.
Below, Suzana Stefanović performs Jesús Rueda’s Love song nº 3 at the Foundation in October 2011.
Sonic constructs is an interactive sound installation that uses LEGO Mindstorms™ semi-automata musical robots; it was created by Pedro Rebelo, Franziska Schroeder, and Graham McAllistair.
In Sonic constructs, two robotic devices move and interact while performing trajectories that produce sound as a by-product of the movement itself. Direction, speed, acceleration, position, scratching, and collision characterize an environment for kinetic and acoustic participation.
This according to “Sonic constructs: Robotics and the residue of sound” by Rebelo and McAllistair, an essay included in Systems research in the arts. VI: Music, environmental design, and the choreography of space (Windsor: International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, pp. 58–62).
Images, sound clips, and a video are here.
George Enescu’s use of elements of Romanian traditional music is well known; his most popular works today, the Rhapsodies roumaines, attest to his enthusiasm for his homeland’s music. Less known is his interest in the Turkish melodic type makam (pl. makamlar) and its influence on his masterpiece, the opera Œdipe.
In this work, Enescu used three makamlar: Müsteâr, for music associated with the characters Creon and Jocasta; Hisâr, for the motif of fate, and Nişâbûr, for the motif of justification.
This according to “Modale Strukturen in Annäherung zur orientalischen Kirchenmusik im Oedip von George Enescu” by Adriana Şirli, an essay included in Enesciana II-III: Georges Enesco, musicien complexe (Bucureşti: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România, 1981).
Today is Enescu’s 130th birthday! Below, an excerpt from the 1970 production of Œdipe by the Opera Naţională Bucureşti; above, the Enescu statue in front of the opera house. For more Enescu iconography, see Music on money.
Launched by Edinburgh University Press in March 2011, The new soundtrack (ISSN 2042-8855; EISSN 2042-8863) presents cutting-edge academic and professional perspectives on the complex relationship between sound and moving images. The journal also encourages writing on more current developments, such as sound installations, computer-based delivery, and the psychology of the interaction of image and sound.
Alongside academic contributions, The new soundtrack includes contributions from practitioners in the field—composers, sound designers, and directors—giving voice to the development of professional practices. Each issue also features a short compilation of book and film reviews.
For his main title music for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Bernard Herrmann used alternately ascending and descending arpeggiated chords in contrary motion in the treble and bass voices; no clear direction, up or down, is established, nor is a harmonic center confirmed. With its almost uninterrupted, destabilizing undulation, the music provides a musical evocation of vertigo that is reinforced by Hitchcock’s spiraling geometric images.
This according to “The language of music: A brief analysis of Vertigo” by Kathryn Kalinak, an essay included in her Settling the score: Music and the classical Hollywood film (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992) and reprinted in Movie music: The film reader (London: Routledge, 2003).
Today is Bernard Herrmann’s 100th birthday! Below, the virtiginous title sequence in question.
The College Music Society inaugurated the series Cultural expressions in music in 2010 with The tango in American piano music: Selected tangos by Thomson, Copland, Barber, Jaggard, Biscardi, and Bolcom by Oscar Macchioni. The book explores works from 1920 to 1990 that represent diverse musical styles, including tonal and non-tonal musical languages and both structural and improvisational writing.