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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Algorithmic Composition Substructures
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destroyifyer



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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: eh
Subject description: uh
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I've found some algorythms to be quite hypnotic, escpecially with an interesting voice used. Even those MIDI algorythms are cool.

Fractmus is good for those=Fractmus Website
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lvbsx



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:28 am    Post subject: virtual music composer
Subject description: genetic algorithm
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Hello,
I am new member.

Your question:

"...Can computers create music? Today, I would say yes only in the sense that elephants can paint pictures or bears can dance. This is likely to change in time, and no doubt the world will change dramatically with it...".
At first, before you read, please listen (only 1min.):
http://www.lvbsx.com/download/examples/015.mp3

Even if we generalize the meaning of the word "algorithm" (without regard to sphere of activity), the basic algorithm of our software "Lvbsx" (VIRTUAL MUSIC COMPOSER) is generally the most simple algorithm at all.
It sounds a little bit absurd, particularly when we say: this software is capable to compose/generate as a basic motive of any-song-ever-written as so a basic motive of any as-yet-unwritten-song.
How it is possible? We don't know!
Yes, it was our intention to do it, but when we succeed, it was surprising for us too.

In the course of development and testing, some of the results are too incredible to believe.
From our data base of "most similar motive/phrase" (NOW WE HAVE 17) that have been created by Lvbsx, the example no.15 is one of them.
As a product it is useless for anything other than to present possibilities of Lvbsx.

Musicians and/or computer geeks complicate activity in "genetic music".
It is only THE NUMBERS: pure realtion between pitch and duration.
The only rules in this software are: scales and bar/meter.
THERE IS NOT ANY PREDETERMINATION IN A WAY AS LOOP-BASED SAMPLES/PATTERNS.
So, today with a computer you can "write" anything you want. Yes, there is a problem: THE TIME IT TAKES but it is possible.
Examples No.15 ( and that kind of "similarity") takes more than one month of testing/generating/listening but in meantime there is lot of NEW SONGS!
Try our free version (BASIC) or, if you want, we'll send to you S/N for full PRO version for testing.
We hoppe, you'll take it as the REPLAY but NO ADVERTISEMENT.
www.lvbsx.com
I hoppe soon,
Best regards
Zlatko, Sarajevo
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Also of interest are the agorithmic composing tune toys at Tim Thompson's (known as tjt here). http://www.nosuch.com/tjt/tunetoys.html - great fun. Very Happy
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ThreeFingersOfLove



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting things are mentioned in this topic...

People always ask me whether it is possible for computers to create music. My answer is of course no. (Not with the present technology and certainly not in the near future). Why? Because there are six (6) parameters which define any system, either biological or technical, that exhibits some sort of intelligence. Human beings meet all 6 criteria, whereas computers meet 2. The most important thing that is missing is the ability to take an initiative.

Other than that, algorithms and randomness are actually an oxymoron: an algorithm is a procedure comprised of logical steps, it has a beginning and an end. There cannot be true randomness in computers.

In the search for interactive and easy-to-use systems, my personal quest was not very fruitful either: I have developed an application in Visual C++ for my BSc thesis some years ago, that uses evolutionary algorithms and the MIDI protocol to compose music. One of the most important observations is that telling a user how the system reacts in response to his input did not prove helpful at all. I have found that users adjust much easier if they are not informed at all and, instead, are left to explore the sonic possibilities.

It is like the Patch Mutator for the Nord Modular G2: you can get an explanation of what it does and although it is interactive, I don't think that there are a lot of users who use it truly interactively.

Things can get very complex when you start working with larger "compositional" blocks: There are programs that use notes but once you start introducing chords, motives or whole compositions it can easily go out of control. For my program I have used chords - 4 voices soprano, tenor, alto and bass and criteria derived from classic harmony. The resultant music was often very "pointilistic" or it had sustained notes, depending on the input material and how mutations and crossovers interact.

It is a promising field nevertheless. I might as well draw a parallel between electronic music and algorithm-aided composition techniques: very people believed that it could be done.
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lvbsx



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:38 am    Post subject: Computer generated music
Subject description: ProEtContra
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Most important about "Virtual music composer": there is no loop-based samples/patterns...NOT AT ALL!!! "LvB's X" create basic motive (developed in phrase by repetition - randomly - by one of 16 different algorithms).
Machine can composes.
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bachus



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Regarding David Cope’s Emmy program Douglas Hofstader writes:

Quote:
I noticed in its pages an Emmy mazurka supposedly in the style of Chopin … Moreover I knew all fifty or sixty Chopin mazurkas very well, having played them dozens of times. … I was impressed for the pieces seemed to express something. If I had been told it had been written by a human I would have had no doubts about its expressiveness.


In blind listening tests done at music schools musically sophisticated listeners have been unable to distinguish between human and Emmy created music in some styles. Though it usually fails the Bach test.

I think those who assert that computers cannot compose music have to explain these empirical results, as fact trumps theory every time.

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ThreeFingersOfLove



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
I think those who assert that computers cannot compose music have to explain these empirical results, as fact trumps theory every time.


Go to a store, buy a computer. Go home and instruct it to compose music. If it does it has a mind of its own - and I will give you mucho dinnero for it.

Any kind of algorithmic composition application can be fine-tuned to meet the criteria for a particular style or genre. But it's the programmer (or musician) who does this job by continuous feedback: by fixing problems here and there, improving it with new features and watching how it responds to his input. This is the only way - unless someone wants to talk DNA computing and bio-informatics. Cool
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bachus



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

Go to a store, buy a computer. Go home and instruct it to compose music. If it does it has a mind of its own - and I will give you mucho dinnero for it.


Show me a mind, tabula rasa, that can compose a composition in any style and I'll buy you large dinner. Smile

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ThreeFingersOfLove



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

Go to a store, buy a computer. Go home and instruct it to compose music. If it does it has a mind of its own - and I will give you mucho dinnero for it.


Show me a mind, tabula rasa, that can compose a composition in any style and I'll buy you large dinner. Smile


Show me a programmer that has the ability and musical knowledge to program all this stuff in a computer!

Btw, I'll take the dinner anytime Very Happy
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chuck



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:
bachus wrote:
ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

Go to a store, buy a computer. Go home and instruct it to compose music. If it does it has a mind of its own - and I will give you mucho dinnero for it.


Show me a mind, tabula rasa, that can compose a composition in any style and I'll buy you large dinner. Smile


Show me a programmer that has the ability and musical knowledge to program all this stuff in a computer!


Show me a human who has never heard any music and knows nothing of it and yet can 'compose' music. Even people have to be programmed (instructed) on what music is. And growing up in a culture hearing music is valid instruction (programming).

Imagine a person growing up in an environment that only had rhythmic (percussion) music. Hand them a contra-bassoon and very little of musical value is likely to happen.

Are we discussing the source or the result? I would humbly submit that there are examples of music composed by humans that would easily be confused with the output of a well programmed computer. And perhaps visa versa.

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dewdrop_world



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

chuck wrote:
Imagine a person growing up in an environment that only had rhythmic (percussion) music. Hand them a contra-bassoon and very little of musical value is likely to happen.

I don't know... when the guy starts beating on the contra-bassoon, it's very likely to be musically more useful than the proper sound of the instrument Razz

James

(Just being a smartass...)

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ThreeFingersOfLove



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

chuck wrote:
ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:
bachus wrote:
ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

Go to a store, buy a computer. Go home and instruct it to compose music. If it does it has a mind of its own - and I will give you mucho dinnero for it.


Show me a mind, tabula rasa, that can compose a composition in any style and I'll buy you large dinner. Smile


Show me a programmer that has the ability and musical knowledge to program all this stuff in a computer!


Show me a human who has never heard any music and knows nothing of it and yet can 'compose' music. Even people have to be programmed (instructed) on what music is. And growing up in a culture hearing music is valid instruction (programming).

Imagine a person growing up in an environment that only had rhythmic (percussion) music. Hand them a contra-bassoon and very little of musical value is likely to happen.

Are we discussing the source or the result? I would humbly submit that there are examples of music composed by humans that would easily be confused with the output of a well programmed computer. And perhaps visa versa.


Music defies definition because it is subjective. You might take the initiative to learn how to compose music of your choice but a computer can never do that out of its own will. Besides that, there are people who have grown up in a certain music envrionment but at some time, under certain circumstances, they changed their preferences or their ways of working.

People might compose music that can be described as mechanistic but that's ok with me - I like computers and sequencers driving synthesizers with ms precision. Computers cannot do this unless they're programmed. And even if they are, their output will be awfully predictable. You see the really difficult (and interesting) thing is to program a computer not what to remember but what to forget.
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ThreeFingersOfLove



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:
chuck wrote:
Imagine a person growing up in an environment that only had rhythmic (percussion) music. Hand them a contra-bassoon and very little of musical value is likely to happen.

I don't know... when the guy starts beating on the contra-bassoon, it's very likely to be musically more useful than the proper sound of the instrument Razz

James

(Just being a smartass...)


No! You have a point there! What is of musical value is again subjective. Do I need to remind what experimental music is all about? There are a thousand ways to make music out of a piano (Cage? La Monte Young? Fluxus Orchestra?)

Lol, I remember reading a book about experimental (electronic) music and there was this alternative notation that a person should push a piano towards a wall and keep pushing. The resultant music (obviously including the cursing Laughing ) should stop when the piano passes the wall to the other side or the person is exhausted. You might laugh as well but all these experiments (including Cage's silence piece) imply a re-orientation of thinking about what music is and to what extent and in what way the audience can participate in it.

Oh well, that could be another thread anyway.
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One approach is to look at it from the listener's point of view, after all it is he or she who decides what is music and how enjoyable it is. It's easy to see the distinction between people and computer's here - when was the last time you saw a computer in its listening chair getting goosebumps from a good tune?

I also think that's an important thing about music - it's about the listening, not the playing. It's not always so important who creates the music, which is why I don't rule out a good computer algorithm with random elements and man's entire music treasure as input.

By the way, I think you are more likely to get something resembling true randomness from a computer than a human. If you ask someone to think of a random number, I think you will find that some numbers are statistically more probable to pop up than others. A large shift register with some xor feedback will give you good enough randomness from a human point of view.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:
Computers cannot do this unless they're programmed. And even if they are, their output will be awfully predictable.

I've heard plenty of computer generated music that is not predictable. You can program surprise if you want, just like you can do when writing a score or when you improvise. The computer is just another tool.

Quote:
You see the really difficult (and interesting) thing is to program a computer not what to remember but what to forget.


This may be a requirement for consiousness, or at least personality.

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Kookoo



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:
There cannot be true randomness in computers.

This is probably not what you meant, but just for a grin:

http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/

hello welcome
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bachus



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kookoo wrote:
http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/


Very cool! Thanks for posting this link.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Smile now.. i wanna see some examples of generalizing composition/arranging technics for all aspects of music.

for example.. a core idea in harmony that can apply to melody / rhythm / sound elements..
a core idea in melody that can apply to harmony / rhythm / sound elements..
a core idea in rhythm that can apply to harmony / melody / sound elements..
a core idea in sound synthesis that can apply to ...

eh -_-"

hmm.. i think if we can see this 'link' between all materials in music (or in a song)..
(including the musical form..)
we can expand the algorithmic composition technics much further.

this is just my guess. ^^"​
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tjt



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:05 pm    Post subject: keykit Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

xbeemer wrote:
KeyKit has been around for some 10 years. So has anyone here beside, perhaps, Howard, actually used it?

mosc wrote:
There is a very active Keykit community and it is supported very well, BTW. IMHO, longevity in a software system makes it attractive.

Calling it 'very active' is a stretch, but there are almost 3000 people on the mailing list, and I answer a good percentage of the questions that get posted. It's not your typical system - some people understand what it is and find it very much to their liking, and some people don't. It's not meant for everyone. Because it's a geeky system, comes with complete source code, and is robust (being an interpreter), the people who do figure it out are often self-supporting. If you're interested in what one of the more adventurous users has done with it, check out http://www.zogotounga.net/GM/paper1.html.

If you want to see what keykit itself is about, you can check out a couple of videos I recently dredged up and posted on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rtflcgr. The one from 1994 is more tutorial-like, covering only the GUI, and the one from 2002 is geekier and more demo-like, talking about the language and showing more recent tools. I spent the first 10 years actively developing the language and GUI, and the second 10 years actively using the system (without changing it much except for adding interfaces to new devices such as joysticks, webcams, gesture pads, etc). See the slides from my electro-music talk for more info: http://nosuch.com/keykit/keykit_electro2005_with_audio_files/frame.htm

...Tim...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

this is a very cool old thread

and lol at the genital consciousness method of music as elaborated by mosc Very Happy Maybe the program needs artificial genitals to obsess over . . .

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Algorithmic Composition Substructures Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

xbeemer wrote:

The wall is how to create large scale, but subtle and polished compositions algorithmically. And how to do it with less effort in the mechanics, and thus more available to be put into the art.


Well, here's my point of view:

1. How many *human* composers have created "large scale, but subtle and polished compositions?" I can name a few that I would consider -- you might disagree, but remember, the key phrase here is "large scale":

a. Richard Wagner
b. Anton Bruckner
c. Gustav Mahler
d. Dmitri Shostakovich
e. Ludwig von Beethoven

2. From what I know of the lives of these composers, the only one for whom, at least externally, the creation of massive scale orchestral works came easily was Shostakovich. The others all took a long time to create their masterpieces. And I don't think it's a coincidence that if you asked most people to rank these five, Shostakovich would be towards the bottom.

3. A fair number of the large-scale pieces produced by these composers have a vocal/choral element. I don't think that's a coincidence either. Can you imagine listening to the entire Ring cycle with no singing, with no stage action, and without the story and the characters?

Many "great composers" never created a "large scale, but subtle and polished composition". There's subtle and polished chamber music by the likes of Schubert, Brahms and Schumann, some very subtle and polished symphonies and concertos that are not of the scale of "Das Lied" or the Ring or the Eroica or the Shostakovich 4th symphony. Igor Stravinsky wrote an enormous amount of subtle and polished music but nothing particularly large scale.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome znmeb.

Interesting post. My point of view on your point of view:

It is impossible to respond to your list because, at present, the phrase"…large scale, but subtle and polished compositions" is undefined and indefinable. Could it be defined we’d likely have the software to create such. Beyond that your post vindicates the notion that composers need all the help they can get. Do I think I’ll live to see it? No, but I’d certainly be pee in my pants happy to have such software.

As to 3 it’s hard to see its cogency with the example given. Opera is libretto driven and with out its non-musical abstractions the music is cut off at the knees.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
welcome znmeb.

Interesting post. My point of view on your point of view:

It is impossible to respond to your list because, at present, the phrase"…large scale, but subtle and polished compositions" is undefined and indefinable. Could it be defined we’d likely have the software to create such. Beyond that your post vindicates the notion that composers need all the help they can get. Do I think I’ll live to see it? No, but I’d certainly be pee in my pants happy to have such software.

As to 3 it’s hard to see its cogency with the example given. Opera is libretto driven and with out its non-musical abstractions the music is cut off at the knees.


Well ... in my mind, the fundamental issue is how long a piece of music can be and continue to hold an audience, or better yet, achieve recognition, multiple performances and continue to do so after the composer's death. I think the canonical example -- the horse to beat in this race -- is Wagner's Ring cycle. And a large component of that is the story and the characters.

Does the music from the Ring stand on its own? Well -- as a 20-minute suite. Smile To get back to algorithmic composition, I suspect it's possible, though I can't cite any examples, for a purely algorithmic orchestral piece of, say, an hour in length, to achieve the level of, say, the Eroica, or the Shostakovich 4th, 8th, or 11th -- an attention-holding symphony lasting a little over an hour. I don't think a human composer has ever done better, so we can't expect a computer to do it. As a side note, maybe it's not fair to include the Eroica or the Shostakovich 11th in that list, since the Eroica is "about Napoleon" and the 11th is "about the massacre of cold and hungry civilians by the Czar's troops in 1905" -- they are *not* abstract music.

I think what we are asking computers to do is communicate with humans in human languages, both musical and textual. Throw in dance if you wish. Smile I think it's the *computers* that need all the help they can get, not the composers. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
Regarding David Cope’s Emmy program Douglas Hofstader writes:

Quote:
I noticed in its pages an Emmy mazurka supposedly in the style of Chopin … Moreover I knew all fifty or sixty Chopin mazurkas very well, having played them dozens of times. … I was impressed for the pieces seemed to express something. If I had been told it had been written by a human I would have had no doubts about its expressiveness.


In blind listening tests done at music schools musically sophisticated listeners have been unable to distinguish between human and Emmy created music in some styles. Though it usually fails the Bach test.

I think those who assert that computers cannot compose music have to explain these empirical results, as fact trumps theory every time.


Yes ... there is no doubt that the output of Cope's software passes some kind of "musical Turing test". I was fortunate to take Cope's algorithmic composition workshop three years ago. EMI is, when all the smoke and mirrors are cleared away, just what it claims to be -- a system for *analyzing* common-practice music and *recombining* the analyzed components into new pieces.

That's mostly the way composition is taught -- you learn counterpoint from Fux and Bach, harmony from Rameau and later, orchestration from Rimsky-Korsakov, etc. But something magical happens once you've been there and done that -- you develop your own voice as a composer. EMI never really seems to have done that. But I'll bet you Professor Cope is working on it. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

znmeb wrote:
I think it's the *computers* that need all the help they can get, not the composers. Smile

I think we are in basic agreement on this stuff.. As for the last: Dang! It must be a lot easier for you to write music than me Laughing

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