Leonardo Music Journal
Issue 7
December 1997

112 pages
ISSN 0961-1215
E-ISSN 1531-4812

Technical Article

The Evolution of Musical Organisms

Article PDF (629.24 KB)

The interactive application of genetic algorithms (GAs) can be used to search through the vast control spaces of computer-based musical composition in a highly efficient manner, allowing coordination of interacting parameters to be handled automatically. Even for control paradigms that are well understood, the genetic algorithm can efficiently search out settings that the composer would have probably not have found. The author has developed a software program, the Musical Organism Evolver (MOE), which employs a GA to produce “musical organisms.” MOE is written in MIDIFORTH, the author's computer-assisted composition software, and employs functions he developed in previous research. The first and second phases of the software development have been completed and are described here. Future work will extend the GA searching technique to abstract, subjective musical concepts such as “density” and “smoothness.”