Between The Idea And Work – Course Of Musical Data Processing


If musical information processing is imperative us thus much now, it really is it slowly built tools that are radically changing the way of thinking the music. However, its history is brief. It merges with all the development of numerical technologies: computers, initially, accompanied by creation by the languages symbolic intended for the programming, then with a complete troop of inventions in numerical technologies. Enough early in its history, information processing is shown sufficiently ripe to support concerns of all types, vitality of accountancy to scientific analysis, while passing naturally by what interests us, creative creation.

And it is very definitely there it is important to distinguish what arises from information processing itself, and what belongs somewhat to the broader planet of numerical development. The music amply draws from these 2 fields its hot resources. But, since the field of the sound is converted now into sound numerical, the distinction is imperative. Musical information processing is born within the meeting of the musical concerns as well as the environment resulting from numerical technologies as well as the specificity of the computer, found on the 1 hand, and of the scientific fields which clarify its analysis subjects. If the musical composition appears there in superior destination, practically all of the different escapades of the music are found there. And musical analysis partly covers the ground cleared by information processing, acoustics, the treatment of the signal, even cognitive psychology: therefore musical information processing is at the center of many musical, scientific and technical fields.

But it is actually the recourse to the certain contributions of the information processing which characterizes its step. New conceptual tools are unceasingly offered by the synthetic intelligence, that are concretized by languages including Lisp or Prolog. These are generally put at when at the musicologist assistance or abstracting service to the composition. Research in systems real time and found on the interfaces interactive makes it potential to conceive brand-new connections involving the instrumentalist as well as the electronic universe.

Great stages of musical information processing

With the origin of musical information processing, 1 finds 2 kinds of escapades, independent among the additional. If these escapades prudent now, it is actually in another way that the authentic vision which caused their birth might help to foresee. These 2 kinds of escapades are: the musical composition, and creation of the sound. In both situations, the manufacture of the desired outcome is guaranteed by the computer. These 2 kinds of escapades are appreciably modern. The initially severe tests of musical composition per computer return to 1956: it is very on this date that Lejaren Hiller calculated a partition utilizing rules encodes in the shape of algorithms found on the computer Illiac I of the college of Illinois. It is about Illiac Suite for String Quartet, whose 3 movements are carried out this year by the string quartet WQXR. In a well-known structure, published in 1959 and which supports the title of “Experimental Music-Composition with year Electronic Computer”, Lejaren Hiller explains in detail the procedures it used to the Illiac computer in purchase to provide the partition of his string quartet.

To find this period, it is actually because into 1956 because John McCarthy forged the expression of synthetic intelligence. One year later, max Mathews, researcher at the laboratories of the Bell Telephone, in the New Jersey, a initially numerical programmer of synthesis of the sound for the computer IBM 704 writes. Known now under the name of Music I, it is actually the initially of the superb family of acoustic compilers; a psychologist, Newman Guttman, generates initial a 1 15 seconds duration research, In the Silver Scale. It is because into 1957 because the 4 movements of the Continuation Illiac for String Quartet of Lejaren Hiller are published; the same year is born the crude adaptation within the distinguished code of FORTRAN system (FORmula TRANslator). Let us note that during the creation of the function of Hiller by the string quartet WQXR, it happens to be max Mathews which organized a recording, which gave region, thereafter, with all the publication of the recording in a disk carried out in 1960 by the Bell Laboratories, and entitled Music from Mathematics: whether or not the techniques traced by these 2 inventors are independent, it really is unknown as that they didn’t cross…

From these 2 virtually modern occasions, the development may continue, slowly, in the traced directions: the composition and manufacturing of the sound. We usually see low the guides of them. But a 3rd means is not lengthy in appearing: it is actually born within the same observation that had prepared Hiller: the computer is above all, at that time, a formidable calculating machine. Moreover, the English expression of chosen computer indicated, before the appearance of these machines, the employees charged to work calculations. But simultaneously, with a bit of worry, 1 talked commonly at the time of electronic brains. An artist couldn’t approach the computer not without a certain emotion, which explains without any question the attraction often terrifying that information processing can exert found on the artists of the following years. But they are 2 scientists that are at the origin of these experiments: Hiller practiced chemistry, while Mathews was an absolutely well-known researcher. It is definitely what explains great methodologies that they reflect in destination, each 1 on their side, and with completely independent aims.

With the Bell laboratories, max Mathews, on his side, created in 1957 a initially numerical programmed of synthesis of the sound for the computer IBM 704, built with 4096 words of memory. Known now under the name of Music I, it is actually the initial of the ideal family. The system Music III (1960) introduced the idea of instrument modular. The model imagined by max Mathews is inspired multiple equipment of laboratory or an electronic studio of music that by an acoustic stringed-instrument trade. The system provides a range of independent modules (Unit Generators), in charge each 1 of a simple function: oscillator with shape of programmable wave, adder of data, multiplier, generator of envelopes and unique data, etc… The musician builds a “instrument” by connecting a selection of modules between them. The data yielded by the oscillators or the generators are led towards alternative modules there to be modified or mixed. Many instruments is joined together within a “orchestra”, each instrument having its own identity. Contrary to what happens in the information universe, it there not of limit to the amount of modules usable simultaneously, except maybe the memory of the computer. The happen of the location of the instrument is the progressive calculation of the sound in the shape of the sequence of numbers which, place end to end, represent a complex sound wave. These numbers are called “samples”. Today, the amount of samples representing 1 next of its was established to 44 100 per channel for the applications general public, and to 48 000 for the specialist field.

Because of relative slowness of the machines and shape fat to be carried out, time place to create the sound wave is very high than the length of the sounds; the procedure of these programs is recognised as “in differed time”. With the origin, the sound waves calculated in numerical shape were stored on a numerical tape slowly proceeding end of a arithmetic device of samples. This mode of creation of the sound is known as “direct synthesis”. Thus creates for itself a “file of sound”; when completed, the musician calls upon a 2nd system, charged reading the file of sound in real time and with sending the samples towards a digital-to-analog converter, that is associated to an amplifier and loudspeakers.

To activate the orchestra, the musician should write a “partition”, in which all of the parameters said by the modules of the instrument are specified. This partition is presented in the shape of the list of numbers or telegraphy codes, each “note” or perhaps a each event being the topic of the specific list. These lists are ordered in time.

But to specify each parameter is a difficult task, more incredibly as the musicians are not trained to provide values calculated to sound dimensions which they handle. To fight against this obstacle, of the languages of assistance to the writing of partitions were conceived; many acknowledged is the Score system of Leland Smith (1972). Score is not an automatic system of composition: it makes it potential to specify the parameters utilizing terms resulting within the musical practice (heights, nuances, durations), automatically to calculate changes of tempo or nuances, and even to supplement sections with notes related to a trajectory provided by the type-setter.
The model instrument-partition was firmly established with all the arrival of Music IV (1962). This system were born from numerous alternatives, of which some exist indeed nevertheless now. Among these misadventures, allow us quote Music 4BF (1966-67), there is today a adaptation for Macintosh (Music 4C, 1989), and specifically Music 360 of Barry Vercoe (1968); this descendant of Music IV has as a characteristic to be presented in the shape of the true programming code, which definitely explains why it became now with C-Music the acoustic compiler more chosen. It was initially modified to minicomputer PDP-11 from DIGITAL in 1973, then, completely rewritten in code C in 1985, it took the name of C-Sound, and was fast modified to all types of data-processing platforms, including the micro-computers like Atari, Macintosh and IBM. In 1969 Music V appears, a system that is conceived to facilitate the musical programming of the instruments as well as the partitions; today, Music V remains mostly employed, commonly in the shape of the adaptation that in produced Richard Moore, C-Music (1980).

The computer was equally an unquestionable achievement in a firmly speculative field, the musicologists analysis. With the eyes of the public interested at the beginning of the Sixties, information processing, nevertheless very mysterious and inaccessible, showed the possibility for unusual musical work; in composition, in musicology and finally, limited to the laboratories Bell, manufacturing of sound. A terrific musical upheaval of the decade was to come within the planet of electronics, with all the appearance into 1964 of the synthesizers modular, recognised as “analogical” because they never contain numerical electronics. Conceived independently by Paolo Ketoff (Rome), Robert Moog and Donald Buchla (the United States), the synthesizers bring the reaction to the technological aspirations of countless musicians, specifically after the common achievement of the disk Switched 1 Bach of Walter Carlos who really prepared learn these instruments near a big audience. During this time, the system of Mathews knows adaptations on alternative websites, including the colleges of NY, Princeton or Stanford.

Another application of the computer appears with all the piloting of analogical instruments. The machine generates data with slow variation which modify the changes of equipment of studio: frequency of oscillators, profit of amplifiers, cut-off frequencies of filters. The initial illustration of the program which 1 names “crossbreed synthesis” was established in 1970 in Elektron Musik Studio of Stockholm, foundation independent since 1969, financed by the Royal Academy of Music, and located under the way of Knut Wiggen. A computer PDP 15/40 controlled twenty-four generators of frequency there, a generator of white vibration, 2 3rd filters of octave, modulators: from ring, of amplitude and reverberations. The originality of the program of Stockholm lay in a very ergonomic operator system, with which the type-setter can specify the parameters of synthesis by sweeping a panel of figures utilizing a metal brochette. Another studio is to be quoted: that of Peter Zinovieff in London (1969), located under the control of the minicomputer DIGITAL PDP 8 for which Peter Grogono wrote the code of Musys piloting.

Another great realization is the program Groove (Generated Realtime Operations One Equipment Voltage-controlled, Ca 1969) conceived at the Bell laboratories by max Mathews and Richard Moore. Groove is an instrument intended for the control of parameters of interpretation of the device of synthesis. In this way, it places the musician more close to the position of the leader that to a type-setter or an instrumentalist, although one could consider that the electronic type-setter of music should usually put himself in position of chief, by straight interpreting the music that is prepared up.

It is the center of the Seventies which marks the transition towards an inexorable widening from today on within the lifetime of musical information processing, with all the appearance of the microprocessor. A data-processing stringed-instrument trade may become slowly potential with all the shape of complete computers on an integrated circuit: microprocessors. It may moreover be essential that the interface with all the consumer improves, and that the punch cards with a more interactive mode of inputs are replaced: it is the keyboard as well as the cathode ray tube that will carry it.

The principle of the crossbreed synthesis continued to be used throughout the Seventies, before being supplanted definitively by the numerical synthesizers at the dawn of the Eighties. The American organization Intel markets since 1971 the initial microprocessor, the circuit 4004, which let the shape of genuine miniature computers, the microcomputers: Intellec 8 (conceived beginning from microprocessor 8008 of 1972), Apple I, Altair (1975), gathered shortly under the name of micro-computers.

The test musical of the Art Group and Data processing of Vincennes (GAIV) illustrate this time of transition perfectly. This team, founded to the college of Paris 8 by Patrick Greussay along with a team of artists and architects, recognized for the publication of the bulletin diffusing the analysis jobs in latest art and information processing, entrusted to the type-setter Giuseppe Englert the musical coordination of her escapades. It is Intellec 8, microcomputer with words of 8 pieces, ordered with a paper tape along with a keyboard, which was employed with all the compositionally escapades and as analysis on musical formalization; English synthesizers EMS-VCS3 were controlled by the microcomputer, via digital-to-analog converters charged to supply energy of purchase in exchange of the binary information calculated by interactive programs.

The 2nd impact of the arrival of the microcomputer was the shape of the “mixed synthesis”, synthesizers numerical, genuine computers modified to the calculation of the sound wave in real instances, located under the control of the computer. From 2nd half of the Seventies appear many achievements of the type; we are going to retain function of James Beauchamp, Jean-François Allouis, William Buxton, inter alia, like those of Peter Samson (synthesizer of Systems Concept, conceived for the analysis center — CCRMA — college of Stanford), Synclavier de New England DIGITAL Corporation, conceived by Syd Alonso and Cameron Jones under the impulse of the type-setter Jon Appleton, shape, under the impulse of Luciano Berio, of the bench of oscillators in Naples by Giuseppe di Giugno, who continued his function in Ircam (series 4A, 4B, 4C and 4X) under the way of Pierre Boulez; more newly, Fly 25 of the Center of recherché musical of Rome. Let us note that with all the 4X of Ircam (1980), the expression of synthesizer disappears, changed by that of numerical processor of signal, which definitely moves the highlight found on the general info of the machine.

The industry of the electronic instrument refuses to take a lengthy time to adjust to these unique developments. The initially stage consisted in introducing microprocessors inside analogical synthesizers (Prophet synthesizers of the fast Sequential Circuits), charged to control the modules ordered in tension; it really is nonetheless of the “crossbreed synthesis”. The 2nd stage follows soon: it consists in designing genuine completely numerical musical instruments. It is the noticed arrival of Synclavier II, then of Fairlight.

The commercial field is now initially prepared up by the marketplace of the synthesizers as well as the processors of the sound, and by the program which makes it potential to exploit them. Today, all synthesizers are numerical, and automatically meet the Midi standard. The field of the synthesizers is double: found on the 1 hand apparatuses, frequently offered with a keyboard, which propose a choice of preprogrammed sounds which 1 can differ certain parameters by an simple task of programming; in addition, the machines that are intended to reproduce sounds beforehand recorded and memorized, or stored on mass memory: samplers, or “samplers”.

It ought to be noted that all these technologies become accessible to the private musician, in the framework of what exactly is called commonly the “individual studio” (house studio).

But these machines, along with a fortiori the individual studio never function without adapted software: the sequencers control the performance of the part straight beginning from a computer, the editors of sound are intended for the treatment, the assembly as well as the mixing of sound sequences. Programs create it potential to create a partition, which from today on is generally employed by the musical edition. Lastly, the machines will equally be located under the control of supplementary programmes to the composition.

The many authentic character of the modern data-processing stringed-instrument trade is the “workstation”. To conceive a workstation consists in gathering programs of many nature, intended for the analysis or the synthesis of the sound, the control of the sound or the composition. These programs are integrated within data-processing a “environment” organized around a computer and of its peripherals, intended for the treatment of the sound online. It is the case of the plug-in charts which, combined to a software, create it potential to read “files of sound” stored on a disk, in exchange of a purchase, coming for illustration from a Midi source. This program, if modern it didn’t discover yet a name true, is usually indicated like “hard” or “direct-to-disk” drive.

The musical representation

Since the computer, unlike the electronic music of studio, claims a specification of the information, and therefore a writing, the query of the musical representation is a continual concern of the field. We will see 2 answers. The initial illustrates a step a priori compositionnelle: that of Xenakis. The 2nd, more general, is the Midi standard.

Iannis Xenakis innovates with all the shape of the UPIC (Unit Polyagogique Informatique of CEMAMu). Conceived in the center of the Seventies, this program rises naturally within the approach of the synthesis of the sound by this type-setter: in the team which it had joined together, baptized initially Emamu (Team of Mathematics and Musical Automatic, 1966), and with all the financing of the Foundation Gulbenkian, Xenakis had created build a digital-to-analog converter of top quality. The UPIC represents a complete environment of composition with, in outcome, the sound synthesis of the page of created up music. Become in 1971 CEMAMu (Center of Mathematics and Musical Automatic) as a result of the creation of the region intended to shelter its analysis, the team joined together around Xenakis conceives a program generating it potential to the type-setter to draw on a wide table of architect of the “arcs time-height”, by selecting for each arc a temporal trajectory, a shape of wave, a nuance. The music therefore is initially represented in graphical shape. The programs of the initially UPIC are created for a minicomputer Solar 16/65, associated to 2 bodies of magnetic tapes to shop the programs as well as the samples, a digital-to-analog converter, a cathode ray tube generating it potential to post the types of waves, and to draw these waves utilizing a visual pencil. To hear the page which it has simply drawn, the type-setter should wait until the computer completed to calculate all of the samples; the generation of the sound is guaranteed with a digital-to-analog converter of top quality. More lately, the UPIC was redrawn for microcomputer, and functions without delay.

To represent the sound in the shape of the modifiable image, it is very the objective of the Phonograms system, tailored at the college Paris 8 per Vincent Lesbros. With the way of the sonograms, the system posts the spectral analysis like a drawing, which is modified; the fresh representation may then be synthesized, either by Midi, or in the form of the file of sound, or changed into Midi file.

The reproach frequently now is heard that the generation of young musicians who approach technologies through the environment built around the Midi standard are not a great aware of not passed of musical information processing as well as its difficulties. But is to forget that, in a way, the birth of the Midi standard was completed without true filiation with all the preceding stages of the field which one might name musical information processing. The phenomenon which represents Midi is not at all a misadventure of the field.

The Midi standard was developed in 1983 to permit the piloting of many synthesizers beginning from 1 just keyboard; the messages are sent in numerical structure, according to a perfectly defined protocol. With the origin, Midi is therefore perfectly based on instrumental gesturer control: it is very a way to represent not the sound, but the gesture of the musician who plays of the Midi instrument. In 1983 leaves the initially synthesizer to have an interface Midi, Prophet 600 of Sequential Circuits. What had not been defined, found on the alternative hand, it’s the achievement which this standard was going promptly to gain, which now is utilized to inter-connect all of the machines of the studio of electronic music, and even the sets of lights of the scene.

Musical research

The function undertaken since 1956 by Lejaren Hiller for the composition of Illiac Suite for String Quartet marks simultaneously the true birth of musical information processing as well as the anchoring of the field in the analysis, used in this case to the automatic composition. The computer appeared then as a machine generating it potential to treat the complex continuations of operations which characterize the composition of ambitious musical functions. This technique was going to be reinforced since 1958 by the French type-setter Pierre Barbaud, who melts in Paris the Algorithmic Group in connection with all the firm Bull-General Electric and starts his analysis of automatic composition; as of the following year, the initially algorithmic function of Barbaud was produced up:

Unforeseeable innovations (Algorithm 1), with all the collaboration of Pierre Blanchard. The system Musicomp de Lejaren Hiller and Robert Baker, of the same time, conceived for the Illiac computer after the composition of the Illiac Continuation, creating college of Illinois among the centers of musical information processing at that time. And when in 1962, Iannis Xenakis creates ST/10, 080262, function created because of the stochastic system ST developed since 1958 on a computer IBM 7090, the composition utilizing the computer enters its golden age. In the Netherlands, Gottfried Michael Koenig writes in 1964 the system of composition Project I (1964), followed shortly of Project II (1970). The composition computer-assisted rests on mathematics as well as the stochastic 1, attracting mostly within the resources of the processes of Markov (Hiller, Barbaud, Xenakis, Chadabe, Manoury).

With the arrival of the micro-computers a unique tendency develops: assistance with all the composition, then computer-aided shape of composition (CAD). The system demiurge, capable to create a entire composition the model of a environment of data-processing tools charged succeeds to deal with precise musical issues. Let us quote among the main ones: HMSL (Hierarchical Music Language Specification, 1985) with Mills College in California, Forms, produced by Xavier Rodet, Draft and Patchwork, developed in Ircam under the impulse of Jean-baptiste Barrier, Experiment in Musical Intelligence of David Cope, at the college of Santa Cruz in California. These programs are open: they dialogue with all the type-setter in an interactive method, and are associated to the universe of the Midi equipment. Except for M and Jam Factory of Joel Chadabe and David Zicarelli, they are structured by the utilization of languages nonnumerical, resulting within the field of the synthetic intelligence, including Forth, and specifically Lisp, which explains why they rest not on mathematics, as it was the case for the initially generation of composition computer-assisted, but found on the formal languages as well as the generative grammars.

Real time: computer and instrumental universe

The Eighties see developing the utilization of the computer in condition in concert; because of the arrival of the numerical synthesizers in real time, or, more usually, numerical processors of sound, and languages of control real time, the conditions are ripe to revisit this aged surface of the music of the XXe century: electronic music online (live electronic music). In most the situations, it happens to be initially a query of imagining a signifies of connecting the computer as well as its processing force to equipment of synthesis or treatment of sound, with, if, potential, the interaction of musicians. Répons (1981), of Pierre Swell, by the integration of the procedures of treatment the composing itself, showed in what the computer became an instrument, integrated well into the orchestra. After this function function appears found on the follow-up, by the computer, of the play of the instrumentalist, procedure acknowledged under the name of “follow-up of partition”. Let us quote the contributions of Roger Dannenberg in the automatic accompaniment as well as the languages providing the conditions of the correspondence computer-instrument, those of max Mathews, initially with all the Groove program, then more newly with its function on “Radio operator Drum” as well as the simulation of the rod of the chief orchestrates itself, Miller Puckette with all the Max. program.

This is why 1 was in addition interested to provide to instruments of orchestra this ability, by providing them with sensors, permitting the computer to adhere to the performance (flute, vibraphone, etc…). All musical industry is worried with this tendency, although the procedure to be selected is not decided yet: it is electromechanical (information sensors located at strategic places of the instrument, performing membranes, etc…), or usually it be mandatory to have recourse to the analysis for stolen of the sounds themselves to learn of it the height, the spectral structure as well as the mode of play?

The community organizes itself

The ripening of musical information processing was accompanied by an supposition of responsibility by the community by the musicians and scientists by themselves. Gradually, the conscience of membership of the field is performed day. The global congresses appear, followed later nearby conferences. The communications that are marked there are published in collections accessible for all of the community. These meetings moreover provide destination to the presentation in concerts, which seems more firmly to weld between them the conscience of the unique field, with all the scientific and creative components. It is the beginning of the “International Computer Music Conferences” (ICMC). In 1978 is born an business intended to facilitate the correspondence and to aid the behavior of the congresses, the “Computer Music Association”, which becomes in 1991 “International Computer Music Association” (ICMA). The organizers find to hold the congress 1 year in North America, as well as the following year on another continent. These congresses see the ICMA taking a part growing in the assistance brought to the area organizers, like in the diffusion of the magazines resulting from these meetings, going until placing within the orders of functions that will be carried out during ICMC (ICMA Commission Awards, 1991).

Another car which welds the conscience of membership of the usual field is the Computer Music Journal. Appeared in California in 1977, it is actually taken again by MIT Press beginning from amount 4 (1980). The newspaper is necessary like the reference as regards scientific magazines of the field. Association ICMA publishes a bulletin, Array, which became a body rather appreciated of info and conversation found on the present subjects of musical information processing. The review Interface Dutchwoman, which becomes since 1994 Newspaper of New Music Research, frequently publishes articles on musical information processing. Canada, Musicworks, guided by Gayle Young, ensures info on a wide range of concerns of the hot musics. In France, magazines of Ircam, InHarmonique, then your books of Ircam open their columns with all the artistic, theoretical and important considerations which accompany abrupt appearance by unique technologies in arts.
In 1991 the Leonardo newspaper, published by the global organization for arts, research and technologies, founded in 1968 by Frank Malina, lance, under the way of Roger Malina, Leonardo Music Journal, who bring a full vision of the musical practice associated to modern technologies, thanks moreover to the publication, with each amount, of the compact drive. More theoretical, the review [http://www.linereview.com] Languages of Design, under the way of Raymond Lauzzana, is interested in formalization in the creative procedures, and scholarships a wide destination to musical information processing. With these conventional supports of info the direct correspondence between musicians and scientists by the signifies of the data-processing networks is added, permitting the instant e-mail. Lastly, the requirement to heighten the speed of correspondence gave birth to the electronic magazines, diffused by the networks like Internet; introduced within the structure of manufacture, impression and routing, they let the same kind of access to info as the information banks which, they equally, multiply in musical information processing.

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