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Live Coding Using a Visual Pattern Composition Language



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Live Coding Using a Visual Pattern Composition Language Roger B Dannenberg roger dannenberg at cs cmu edu www cs cmu edu rbd 412 268 3827 School of Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA 15213 Abstract Live coding is a performance practice in which music is created by writing software during the performance Performers face the difficult task of programming quickly and minimizing the amount of silence to achieve musical continuity The Patterns visual programming language is an experimental system for live coding Its graphical nature reduces the chance of programming errors that interfere with a performance Patterns offers graphical editing to change parameters and modify programs on the fly so that compositions can be listened to while they are being developed Patterns is based on the combination of pattern generators introduced in Common Music Introduction Live coding is a music performance practice where music generation software is programmed in real time Nilson 2007 Often the software development process itself is featured along with the resulting sound usually by projecting the developer s computer screen for the audience to see One of the interesting and enjoyable aspects of live coding is that the audience can anticipate new sounds and changes in sounds by following the code development process The composer also has the opportunity by typing comments and simply by exposing the software structure to communicate musical intensions directly to the audience as part of the performance Many musicians like to read scores while listening to music The score can reveal structures in music that are not immediately apparent upon listening and the score gives the reader listener some ability to look ahead and perhaps understand the music not only in terms of what has been heard already but in terms of where the music is going Live coding brings yet another aspect to the perception of music which is that deeper layers of structure in music can be



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