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Algorithmic Trajectories

McLean, Alex; Dean, Roger

We jointly designed and edited this volume [Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music] because of our complementary, overlapping yet highly contrasting backgrounds (we have performed together and met first in the context of music research). The contrast between us stems both from our differing time frames of involvement, and from the fact that AM makes music primarily (usually solely) via a computer and in real-time whereas RTD is an acoustic instrumentalist (particularly keyboards, often with computers), and a composer (offline) as well as improviser (real-time). While AM was using computers from an early age, and began serious programming around 1986 (aged 11), RTD first used a (desktop) computer in around 1982 (already aged more than 30).

So in this final Perspective on Practice, we will discuss our own experiences and the development of our current enthusiasms. We hope that brief consideration of these trajectories will have some interest for readers seeking to engage with the breadth of our field of algorithmic music. We drafted our own sections, and then jointly edited the chapter, providing a brief conclusion; we also took advantage of helpful suggestions from external reviewers. See Note 1 to this chapter for information on cd and other sources of the music mentioned in the two authors’ sections that follow.

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