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pSY and The Copenhagen Interpretation: Software or Composition?



To what degree can the software used in creating music be considered responsible for the final result? Clearly the answer depends on the type of software, the type of music, the composer and other factors, but should software used in the creation of music be credited with the piece? If I use an audio editor to manipulate a sound in a particular way, is not the programmer of the material at least partially responsible for it too? Can the software 'tool' be entirely without 'colour'? And what about software that contains 'actual' compositional procedures?

...a nauseating musical experience, but one not without interest...Is the computer composing? The question is best unasked, but it cannot be completely ignored. An answer is difficult to provide. The algorithms are deterministic, simple and understandable. No complicated or hard-to-understand computations are involved; no "learning" programmes are used...the machine functions in a perfectly mechanical and straightforward manner...

M Matthews and L Rosler, "A Graphical Language for Computer Sounds" in H von Foerster and J W Beauchamps, eds., Music by Computers, p96, New York: John Wiley, 1969