[r-t] Seven Deadly Sins

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Tue Oct 25 19:57:48 UTC 2005

Ben writes,

> If I may sum up this argument so far...
> MBD:
> Composition is the art of selecting what type of music you want in a
> composition, and where.  Then you generate some possible compositions, and
> pick the one that's best.
> Robert Lee:
> Composition is the art of working out what lead-end follows another one.
> It doesn't matter what changes are in the composition, as long as you
> can write them out..

Good summary Ben. It's certainly true that the use of computers has
concentrated minds about what the composing process actually is. Before
computers came along, we didn't have to worry too much about which bits of
the composer's job were actually composing, and which weren't, because one
bloke was doing them all. Now we do have to worry.

Some milestones we've already passed - no-one worries if you've used a
computer to do all your proving for you. Perhaps this was easy because
composers have, in the past, used other people to do this job for them. The
next hurdle is understanding that the gruntwork of searching trees is not a
human, composer's, job; it's a machine job.

Making sure you're in the right search space, and picking the right
composition from the results, are jobs that a computer is never going to be
able to do for you (until proper AI comes along, anyway...). They are the
truly clever, creative bits.


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