Assigned Date: Friday, Oct. 14
Due Date: Friday, Oct. 21
Due Time: 30 mins before class
In this context, write a Jython program that generates an interesting piece of music.
Remember – we are thinking of music as sound organized in time.
As you begin, think of the following:
- Select a theme, concept, or story.
- Then, think of a narrative or structure. What are you trying to say?
- Think of the difference between impressionism and expressionism, as discussed in class.
- Are you after an impression, an emotion, an aesthetic?
- Is there a narrative?
- What are the primitive elements – sound objects?
After you decide on the above:
- Think of Interest Curves.
- Draw your interest curve, first… This will save you immense time.
- Then, on top of this drawing, describe / write in the piece elements. How will you achieve these interest points?
- Where does each sound begin? Where does it end?
- Drawing it on paper – first – this will expedite writing in Python.
- Experimenting in Python is OK, but remember to return back to your paper drawing.
- You will submit your drawing together with your program. Do it first – it will save you time.
Your piece should follow these:
- 1-min long – a little more is ok (but no less).
- Utilize 7 +/- 2 of individual, unique sound recordings – stored as WAV files, loaded in as AudioSamples.
- You may record them, or download them from the Internet.
- If you download them from the Internet, provide names and URLs in the header documentation – VERY IMPORTANT.
- Keep your recordings short – less than a second, up to 7 seconds long. No more (but ask me, if your idea requires an exception to this – I may allow it).
- Store all your WAV files in the same folder as your program and JEM.
- Use AudioSamples only – no MIDI.
- Use a Score (different phrases, parts, and notes) to structure and lay out your piece.
- Consider using parallel phrases (with appropriately staggered start-up times) to create longer loops, from smaller sound objects. See example presented in class.
- To make your piece more interesting, consider structuring your sounds as:
- background (sky / backdrop / carpet sound – ambient, longest sounds – probably for the duration of the piece – provides context),
- middleground (horizon – longer sounds – define different “chapters” in your story, narrative, if any), and
- foreground (prominent sound events – immediate sound events that grab your attention, and move the story / idea forward).
- Consider adding things, but also taking away things.
- Sometimes less is more.
- Try to use at least 3 Mod functions (not counting repeat(), which is fine to use, for economy). Avoid using randomness.
- The goal is to use Mod functions that make sense – do not force it, just to get the “3” count.
- Design, design, design…
- Think. Ask questions on the Ed discussion board.
- And of course, start early.
Draw the interest curve of the piece you are creating. How are you going to achieve these changes in interest (add something, subtract something)?
What sounds will you use? How will you overlay them?
Design, design, design – think and make decisions on paper first. Code later. Return back to paper often. Do NOT think in code… think on paper.
Always remember the adage –
“20 hours of coding… can save you two hours of design!!!”
Follow the documentation instructions from Homework 1. In particular, your header documentation should:
- Mention the name of the piece and what it is trying to capture / achieve.
- The names and URLs of any sounds you used from the Internet (or elsewhere).
- Anything else that’s interesting to share.
Remember, the Golden Rule of Style: “A program should be as easy for a human being to read and understand as it is for a computer to execute.”  Your code should have general comments at the top, which explain what the program does. You should comment all variables, obscure statements, and blocks of code.
Follow the textbook examples on how to write comments.
Your program should have a meaningful name, e.g., stairwayToHeaven.py.
1. Bring to class the following:
- A printout of your Python program.
- Your initial design on paper. Write your name on it.
- Be ready to perform your program in class – part of your grade depends on this.
- (For extra credit) – upload your sound to audio.com or soundcloud.com – place the link in your program’s header documentation.
2. Also, submit on OAKS:
- Your Python (.py) file, and
- all your audio files, so I can run it on my computer, if I wish.
For extra credit (not required):
- Upload the audio of your program to Audio.com or Soundcloud.com.
- Provide the URL of your uploaded audio, in your program’s header documentation. (For more information on how to record audio played on your computer with Audacity, see here.)
Your grade will be based on how well you followed the above instructions, and the depth/quality of your work.
- Cooper, D. and Clancy, M. (1985) “Oh! Pascal”, 2nd ed., W.W. Norton & Company, New York, p. 42.