## strasheela-users — Strasheela usage discussion

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 Re: [Strasheela-users] PD to lillypond From: Torsten Anders - 2008-05-12 09:37:20 On May 10, 2008, at 11:02 PM, Andrea Valle wrote: > I'm actually using a very eclectci approach, sometimes using > Python, sometimes SuperCollider for "gluing" stuff together, > sometimes my output is LilyPond, sometimes graphical notation. > So, I'm a bit skeptical about a general system, as I change my > solutions on a piece basis. :) I can understand your scepticism. Perhaps I caused some some misunderstanding, therefore some clarification. Many music theories describe a musical result by a set of rules, and multiple rules are often applied to the same musical parameters. For example, conventional harmony or counterpoint defines many rules on pitches. I am particularly interested in music in (approximations of) just intonation which again can be described by multiple rules on the pitches. These multiple rules on the same parameters often result in a combinatorial problem. Constraint programming is a powerful technique for solving such combinatorial problems. Implementing a complex musical theory as a constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) from scratch can be a lot of work. Therefore, there exist quite a number of systems which aim to make constraint programming more accessible for musicians. However, these systems only support specific classes of theories and some more complex cases -- the actual interesting cases for me -- are not supported by any. For example, musical CSPs where the rhythmical structure, harmonic structure, and motivic structure is constrained are such complex CSPs. In summary, Strasheela aims to simplify the definition of a very large class of musical CSPs. Still, a system must be reasonable efficient to be useful in practise and therefore there are CSPs which are not supported (e.g., so far I don't know how to efficiently allow to freely constrain the hierarchic structure of a score, therefore Strasheela only supports constraining a score hierarchic in a limited way). Nevertheless, Strasheela focusses on musical CSPs (and programs which combine classical algorithmic composition techniques with constraint programming). It is not intended as a platform for all kinds of algorithmic composition techniques. For example, stochastic composition techniques are not well supported. Constraints are not well suited for modelling different random distributions. You can constrain things like that some rule holds in 10-30% of the cases, but it would be relatively expensive computationally to constrain, say, whether a rule holds follows the gaussian distribution. One can of course implement stochastic composition techniques by simple techniques like lookup tables, but other systems already provide that, why having that in Strasheela too then. This focus on constraint programming is also a very important difference to OpenMusic -- which I forgot to mention before. OK, hope that clarifies it. Best Torsten -- Torsten Anders Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research University of Plymouth Office: +44-1752-586227 Private: +44-1752-558917 http://strasheela.sourceforge.net http://www.torsten-anders.de

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