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Composition or Improvisation? Only the Computer Knows!

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The boundaries separating composition and improvisation are becoming blurred due to two emerging applications of microcomputers to these age-old musical phenomena. First, computers provide us with the ability to make extremely complicated compositional decisions in real-time, in fact, at speeds equaling literally millions of decisions in the space between two notes. At the same time, computers can keep track of all the necessary musical rules and aesthetic principles, providing the benefits of knowledge equivalent to years of advanced musical training built right into software programs. A sort of hybrid creative process has developed. This hybrid, referred to as -interactive composition- combines many of the concepts of compositions and improvisation, adding to them a myriad of hitherto unexplored creative options made possible by the speed at which computers can process complex information.

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