Instructor: Sergi Jordà, Ángel Faraldo
Credits: 5 ECTS

Computational or artificial creativity is a multidisciplinary field of research located at the intersection of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, philosophy, and the arts. Although the term was officially coined in the late 90s, the study of the use of computers for simulating or enhancing human creativity dates back from the 50s, initially inspired by the work of cyberneticists such as Weiner or Shannon.

In this course, we will study the creation and performance of music using computers and algorithms, with a focus on real-time interaction and control. We will cover these topics from a multilayered perspective, combining historical, conceptual, technical and esthetical viewpoints. At the end of the course, students will have to perform/compose/improvise a musical piece of their own, using the tools they will have developed.

The course is offered in 10 weekly sessions of 2.5 hours each, for a total of 25 hours of lectures. It is compounded of a more theoretical part with lectures, readings and discussions, and hands-on practical labs on musical interaction and control. Most of these labs are done using the visual programming language for real-time interactive computer music, Pure Data.

The evaluation of the students is based on weekly lab reports, reading assignments, and the completion of a final project focussing on the design, implementation, and evaluation of a Digital Music Instrument (DMI). This project, which will conclude with a musical performance, will be developed in groups of 2 or 3 students. Additional students’ contributions, under different formats (such as music, links, class participation, etc.) are also items contributing to the final grade.

Topics covered

  • Algorithmic music composition, concepts, history and techniques
  • Expert music agents and interacting with “musical knowledge”
  • Real-time musical interaction and design of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME)
  • Mapping for real-time sound and music control
  • Combining low-level “sonic” control with higher-level “musical” control
  • Introduction to Pure Data programming
  • Evaluation and User Experience in NIME

Materials and References