Non deterministic art has been around quite a while. In the recent decades it started to break out from modern art museums via computer games while inserting itself into business under the name gamification. Rule based art has many forms of appearance. Be it a painting which is made of several pieces which can be moved by the spectator or an installations which depends on various influences like the sound of this windharp embedded in a natural environment. In this post Bitsphere likes to share some insights into the basics of rule based music creation.
Rules and interconnections
Out of very few rules are generally a lot of possible combinations arising. Imagine the action of driving a car: There are few possibilities: left – right – forward – backward – fast – slow. By applying these rules you may reach more places than you would have time to in a lifetime.
If the driver lined up all his decisions by this rules to describe his way from home to the grocery store it would go like: forward 10m – right 90° – forward 500m – right 75° – forward 400m – left 100° – forward 45m. It is clear that only one alteration in the description led to another outcome (the car stops at the gas station for example) and if altering two or more decisions led to a completely other outcome (the car ends up in a holiday resort abroad).
What we also may keep in mind is that there might be other ways to get to the grocery store. Which says that another application of the rules leads to the same outcome.
Example of rule based music construction
To give you a short example of how to work with rules here is a sample piece of music which is based on two rules:
- In each bar the note is shifted up by a third in the diatonic scale (and transposed to a certain range) g – h – d – f – a – c – e – g
- The rhythm in each bar corresponds to a digital number 000001, 00000010, 000000011, 00000100, etc. If there appears a 1 in the number there is sound and if not there is none.
That is how the first eight bars look like in classical score:
This is how it sounds like:
If you have anything to say about ruled based art and music – may it be a link to a resource or your personal opinion – drop me a line!