This update I believe is worth a second post, as it makes visible the otherwise-mysterious algorithms producing music in our previous post.

And yes, I believe this is “music,” naysayers aside. Whether it’s good music is in the ears of the listener, but if you can describe this much sound with this little code, imagine what’s really possible in computer music. Whatever it is you want to hear, it’s within the power of your imagination to describe it, on a score or in code, either one.

Thanks to none other than Stephan Schmitt for the tip.

  • i have no problem at all calling these sounds 'music'. i even like it. what i don't like is the line "Whatever it is you want to hear, it’s within the power of your imagination to describe it, on a score or in code, either one." because it reminds me so much of the things marketeers have been saying about synths ever since the early 70s. to me the idea that you can create any sound imaginable with a few lines of code or with a [insert synthesizer brand of choice] is a 'reductionist pipe dream'. but ok, it's still an interesting post 🙂

  • … or my favorite line "Limited only by YOUR imagination!" (that is, not by our limited number of control options and ideas of what sounds you can imagine).

    These are great fun. The Javascript version lets you use sines and other functions, so it needn't be so crunchy sounding. 

  • The comments above make an interesting point, about "your imagination" maybe not being the best way of describing these one-line compositions. To me, these seem like they produce results that go BEYOND the developer's imagination and control, and head straight into the realm of "fortuitous accidents."

    These are chaotic systems, and seem close to a really poorly written pseudo-random noise generator. What I love about this project is the experimentation, and the willingness to hack various numbers into the code and just see what happens.

  • KarlPopper

    1) Maybe I'm a nut, but many of these 'algorithms' produce very listenable results. I would love to see this sort of thing done in Assembly.

    2) My imagination has never been able to capture the sorts of sounds I can make on synths.

  • niels van dam

    I really enjoy following how all these codes are remixed and interpreted by different people inside new projects.

    The last one I saw was actually turning them into music videos. Really nice if you like pixelated movies 🙂

  • kidA

    This took me back to the 80's when I was doing similar things on a Commodore 64. Thanks for the memories. Love that sound.

  • I love this, and also the way it's easy to transfer this your language of choice (Ruby for instance) since it's simply a command line pipe.

    Also, the visualizations are really helpful (to me at least) in figuring out what the algorithm is actually doing.