A Music-generating System Inspired by the Science of Complex Adaptive Systems

Shawn Bell, Liane Gabora

This paper presents NetWorks (NW), an interactive music generation system that uses a hierarchically clustered scale free network to generate music that ranges from orderly to chaotic. NW was inspired by the Honing Theory of creativity, according to which human-like creativity hinges on (1) the ability to self-organize and maintain dynamics at the 'edge of chaos' using something akin to 'psychological entropy', and (2) the capacity to shift between analytic and associative processing modes. At the 'edge of chaos', NW generates patterns that exhibit emergent complexity through coherent development at low, mid, and high levels of musical organization, and often suggests goal seeking behaviour. The architecture consists of four 16-node modules: one each for pitch, velocity, duration, and entry delay. The Core allows users to define how nodes are connected, and rules that determine when and how nodes respond to their inputs. The Mapping Layer allows users to map node output values to MIDI data that is routed to software instruments in a digital audio workstation. By shifting between bottom-up and top-down NW shifts between analytic and associative processing modes.

Knowledge Graph



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