It's part learning exercise, part experiment. There already exist many ways to make generative music, but this book is about learning how to create something from scratch.
It's also an experiment, in that the results are uncertain. We can fairly easily write a program to generate noise, and with a little work even something that sounds vaguely like music, but can we make something that approaches the qualities of "real" music?
To help us focus, the book has a few guiding principles:
Fun over rigour: We'll take inspiration from nature and science, but also take some artistic license along the way.
Composition over sound design: The focus will be on creating musical structures, with sound generation delegated to instrument samples.
Simple building blocks: We'll build things from the ground up. As we go we'll encapsulate our learning into a set of modules we can plug together to make more sophisticated music.
To help us get started, the book begins with short primers on each of its three subjects:
Generative: Here we define what we mean by "generative", and cover how generative processes can be applied to creating art and music.
Music: Here we explain the building blocks of music: melody, harmony and rhythm.
With that under our belts, the main part of the book guides us through applying these ideas to making some noise, and potentially, music! We begin by making some useful musical building blocks, and progress to explore the musical potential of different generative ideas:
Sampler: TODO: Summary
Metronome: TODO: Summary
Walker: Taking a random walk around the keyboard.
Matrix: Building a pattern sequencer. Transforming patterns.
There are a few essentials you'll need to follow along with the examples:
Check out the Links for a list of references that informed this book.