Experimental Music: Composition with an Electronic Computer

Isaacson, Leonard M., Hiller, Lejaren A.


Westport: Greenwood.

Language: English

In this book, written during the early years of electronic and computer music development, the authors raise the question and hence investigate if it is possible to compose music with a computer. In order to investigate this possibility they carried out a series of experiments to determine whether automatic, high-speed digital computers could be used to generate music. The results of these experiments are presented, including a piece of music titled the Illiac Suite that was itself based on the results (the score of which can be found in the book's appendix). The principal issues raised by the investigation receive individual attention, as revealed by the title of each chapter.

Table of contents:

  1. Nature of the Problem
  2. The Aesthetic Problem
  3. Experimental Music
  4. The Technical Problem
  5. Experimental Details
  6. Experimental Results: The Illiac Suite
  7. Some Future Musical Applications