Volume 35, Issue 2
April 2002

112 pages
ISSN 0024-094X
E-ISSN 1530-9282

Synthetic Harmonies: An Approach to Musical Semiosis by Means of Cellular Automata

Article PDF (286.47 KB)

The authors explore the creation of artificial universes that are expressible through music and internally comprehensible as complex systems. The semiotic approach this paper presents could also allow the development of new tools of investigation into the complexity of artificial-life systems. Through codification systems using musical language, it is possible to understand the patterns that the global dynamics of cellular automata produce and to use the results in the musical domain. In the authors' approach, music can be considered the semantics of complexity. The authors identify analogies between elements of cellular automata and elements of musical form, creating a narrative musical framework that has allowed them to develop a productive, computational and semantic methodology. Music fosters an increased capability for analyzing and reconstructing complexity, providing unexpected insight into its organization.

Researcher, Centro Interdipartimentale della Comunicazione, Università della Calabria, Cosenza, Italy. E-mail: <bilotta@unical.it>.

Eleonora Bilotta is professor of General Psychology at the Arts and Humanities Faculty, University of Calabria, Italy. Her current research interests include intelligent systems in education, psychology of programming, psychology of music, and artificial life and music.

Pietro Pantano is professor of Classical Mechanics and Applied Mathematics at the Engineering Faculty, University of Calabria, Italy. His current research interests include non-linear phenomena and wave propagation theory, complexity, self-organized criticity and artificial life, and generative and evolutive music.

© 2002 ISAST