Music 680 - Special Topics in Music Theory (Fall 2005): Algorithmic Composition
  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  Mondays 4:30 - 7:10 pm
  Music B40

Instructor: Christopher Burns
  office hours: Monday, 2-4 pm, or by appointment
  office location: Music 367 (during building renovation, Music 231)
  contact: cburns at uwm dot edu

Course description:
  Aesthetics, analysis, technique, and composition of musical works embodying algorithims, with an emphasis on the close study of pioneering works from the 1950s to the present. Practical programming for algorithmic composition using the Co mmon Music environment. Students will complete short composition / programming assignments and a final creative project.

Prerequisites:
  Open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the Music Department and the DIVAS program; others admitted by consent of the instructor. Prior experience with programming is not required.

Grading policies:
  Semester grades will be determined in accordance with the following priorities:
  Participation 15%
  Assignments 40%
  Final project 45%
  Students who miss three or more class meetings will receive reduced grades.

Course materials:
  Listening assignments (scores and recordings) for the course will be on reserve in the Music Library; readings are available via electronic reserve. The Common Music software is freely available and may be downloaded from commonmusic.sourceforge.net.

Course schedule:
  September 12, 2005: first class meeting
    topics:
      historical overview of algorithmic composition: isorhythm, canon, variation, etc.
      early twentieth-century instances
        Schoenberg Drei Satiren, Crawford Seeger String Quartet 1931
      introduction to Scheme
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
    assignment 1 (due September 19):
      get started with Scheme; write a (musically interesting?) recursive function
 
  September 19, 2005: serialism I - Stockhausen
    topics:
      context and precedents for integral serialism
      serial technique
      serial technique in Common Music
    listening/score study:
      Karlheinz Stockhausen Kreuzspiel (1951, rev. 1959)
      Karlheinz Stockhausen Zeitmasse (1955-56)
      Karlheinz Stockhausen Gruppen (1955-57)
    reading:
      Robert Morgan, "Analytical Comments [Kreuzspiel]," Anthology of Twentieth-Century Music, pp. 381-385
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
    assignment 2 (due October 3):
      CM etude deriving all musical parameters from a single series of proportions
 
  September 26, 2005: Cage I - early works
    topics:
      aesthetics of and strategies for indeterminacy
      stochastic techniques in Common Music
    listening/score study:
      John Cage Credo in Us (1942)
      John Cage Music of Changes (1951)
      John Cage Williams Mix (1953)
    reading:
      James Pritchett, The Music of John Cage, chapter 3, pp. 74-104
      Jean-Jacques Nattiez, ed., The Boulez-Cage Correspondence, letters 26-43, pp. 80-144
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
 
  October 3, 2005: serialism II - Boulez
    topics:
      Boulez's critique of Cage
      Ligeti's analysis of Structures Ia
    listening/score study:
      Pierre Boulez Second Piano Sonata
      Pierre Boulez Le Marteau Sans Maitre
    reading:
      Pierre Boulez, "Alea" and "Schoenberg is Dead," Notes of an Apprenticeship, pp. 35--51, 268-276
      Dominique Jameux, Pierre Boulez, analyses 3, 5-6, pp. 240-256, 269-298
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
    assignment 3 (due October 17):
      CM etude using controlled stochastics
 
  October 10, 2005: Xenakis I - early works
    topics:
      Xenakis' critique of serialism
      indeterminacy (Cage) vs. stochastics (Xenakis)
      stochastic techniques and Formalized Music
    listening/score study:
      Iannis Xenakis ST/4 (1955-1962)
      Iannis Xenakis Herma (1960-61)
      Iannis Xenakis Nomos Alpha (1966)
    reading:
      Iannis Xenakis, Formalized Music, chapters 1, 5-6, pp. 1-42, 131-177
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
 
  October 17, 2005: canon I - Ligeti
    topics:
      Ligeti's critique of serialism
      micropolyphony and canon
      changing approaches to micropolyphony
    listening/score study:
      György Ligeti Atmospheres
      György Ligeti Lux Aeterna
      György Ligeti Lontano
    reading:
      György Ligeti, "Metamorphoses of Musical Form" [excerpt], in Source Readings in Music History, Leo Treitler, ed., pp. 1376-1384
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
    assignment 4 (due October 31):
      canonic CM etude
 
  October 24, 2005: canon II - Nancarrow
    topics:
      isorhythm and canon in the player-piano studies
      novel canonic forms: tempo canon
      canonic structure: convergence points
      comparative sound-mass constructions in Ligeti and Nancarrow
    listening/score study:
      Conlon Nancarrow Studies for Player Piano selections: #21; #37; #41a, 41b, 41c;
    reading:
      Kyle Gann, The Music of Conlon Nancarrow, chapters 5-8, pp. 85-239
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
    special event:
      Charles Boone presents new visual art from SFAI, Music B60, 8 pm
 
  October 31, 2005: Xenakis II - later works
    topics:
      arborescences and scales
      dynamic stochastic synthesis: algorithmic control at the sample level
    listening/score study:
      Iannis Xenakis á r.
      Iannis Xenakis s.709
    reading:
      Peter Hoffmann, "The New GENDYN Program," Computer Music Journal, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 31-38
      Peter Hoffmann, "Towards an 'Automated Art'", Contemporary Music Review, vol, 21, nos. 2/3, pp. 121-131
      Iannis Xenakis, "Determinacy and Indeterminacy," Organised Sound, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 143-155.
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
 
  November 7, 2005: minimalism (and its allies)
    topics:
      algorithm and (ir)rationality
      constructive vs. perceptual complexity
      contexts for minimalism
    listening/score study:
      Tom Johnson Rational Melodies
      Pauline Oliveros Alien Bog
      Alvin Lucier Navigations for Strings
      George Aperghis Recitations
    reading:
      Rosalind Krauss, "LeWitt In Progress," The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, pp. 244-259.
      Alvin Lucier, "Origins of a Form," Leonardo Music Journal vol 8, pp. 5-11.
    materials:
      lecture notes
      scratch buffer history
    assignment 5 (due November 21, 2005):
      CM etude addressing "simplicity" and "complexity"
 
  November 14, 2005: complexity
    topics:
      "the new complexity": context, aesthetics, and analysis
      collaborating with Ferneyhough: LISP and Patchwork code for Shadowtime
    listening:
      Brian Ferneyhough Adagissimo
      Brian Ferneyhgouh Trittico per G.S.
      Brian Ferneyhough Lemma-Icon-Epigram
    reading:
      Brian Ferneyhough, "Duration and Rhythm as Compositional Resources" and "Responses to a Questionnaire on 'Complexity'," Collected Writings, pp. 51-71.
      Richard Toop, "Brian Ferneyhough's Lemma-Icon-Epigram," Perspectives of New Music vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 53-100.
    materials:
      lecture notes
 
  November 21, 2005: spectralism
    topics:
      algorithm as spectral technique and as spectral form
      the development of Patchwork and OpenMusic
      spectral technique in Common Music
    listening/score study:
      David Franzson Il Dolce Fare Niente
      Claude Vivier Zipangu
      Kaija Saariaho Pres
    reading:
      Julian Anderson, "A Provisional History of Spectral Music," Contemporary Music Review, vol. 19, part 2, pp. 7-22
      Joshua Fineberg, "Guide to the Basic Concepts and Techniques of Spectral Music," Contemporary Music Review, vol. 19, part 2, pp. 81-113
    materials:
      lecture notes
      Scheme listener history
      scratch buffer history
 
  November 28, 2005: computer music
    topics:
      computer music and the data explosion
      algorithms and style replication
      algorithms in multimedia (Niemeyer/Chafe)
    listening/score study:
      James Tenney Dialogue
      Matthew Burtner Glass Phase
      Chris Chafe Transect
    reading:
      David Cope, The Algorithmic Composer, chapters 6-7, pp. 205-266
      Bill Schottstaedt, Automatic Species Counterpoint, STAN-M-19
    materials:
      lecture notes
 
  December 5, 2005: Cage II - later works
    topics:
      indeterminacy and algorithms across media
      Cage and the computer
    listening:
      John Cage Fourteen
      John Cage Roaratorio
    reading:
      "Cage and the Computer: a Panel Discussion," and "The Making of Cage's One11", in David Bernstein and Christopher Hatch, eds., Writing Through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art, pp. 190-209, 260-297
    materials:
      lecture notes
 
  December 12, 2005: mutual influences
    topics:
      making connections: Boulez / Ligeti / Nancarrow / Holliger
    listening:
      Pierre Boulez Derive I
      György Ligeti Etudes for Piano Book I
      Heinz Holliger Scardanelli-Zyklus selections: Sommer III, Winter I, Frühling I
    materials:
      lecture notes
 
  December 15, 2005: Salon concert - final project presentations