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Related: , , , , , , , Posted in news on Jun 05, 2008 - comment 0 comments has released MaxScore, a music notation tool for the Max/MSP environment.

MaxScore is a Max object which accepts messages that can create a score, add notes to it, transform them, perform it, save and load the score, as well as export the score to popular formats for professional publishable results. MaxScore
MaxScore’s Setup Score help patch

MaxScore features

  • Play back a score and drive your MSP patches through a well-defined instrument interface.
  • Created and modify scores in real-time.
  • Add notes explicitly by specifying durations and pitches, or use Max to generate an arbitrary stream of musical events and use MaxScore’s Transcriber to notate them automatically.
  • Exports to MusicXML so you can load your scores into Finale and Sibelius. Also exports to the GNU LilyPond automated engraving system.

A manual for MaxScore is available for download in PDF format.

MaxScore, commissioned by “Bipolar – German-Hungarian Cultural Projects” (an initiative of the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany), was programmed in Java Music Specification Language by Nick Didkovsky. While MaxScore is freely available to the public, it requires a JMSL license to run (available at AlgoMusic).

Visit for more information and links to download MaxScore for Windows and Mac.

Handheld Remakes

Handheld Remakes brings back some fond memories. This place hosts a big searchable archive of handheld games, in SWF (Flash), Director and Java formats.

You can play a few games online.

Donkey Kong jr. handheld remake
One of my favorite handhelds: Donkey Kong jr.

Nowadays we have PS3′s and Wii’s, but few games can get me excited like the way these old handheld games did. When was the last time you spent days with no end trying to beat a highscore? (It’s actually cool that Nintendo was on top of the handheld market back in the day, and that they are right there now with the console market as well).

Anyway, I think I still have the Nintendo Donkey Kong handheld somewhere, gotta go find it!

Kepler’s Orrery – Generative music based on a gravity simulator

Simran Gleason has released Kepler’s Orrery as open source software.

Kepler’s Orrery is a generative music system that uses gravity equations to “compose” and play music.

Kepler's Orrery - Threesomes
Kepler’s Orrery – Threesomes

How does it work?

Start with planets (or stars or particles) that each have mass, position, and velocity, then run a n-body gravity simulator to make them move. They attract each other, accelerate, swirl around, and slingshot off each other. Sometimes they collide, and that’s what plays the music.

Each body can have a melody attached to it, and plays its next note when it collides.

Composing for this system is tricky, but fun. You set up the initial world by specifying where the planets and the rocks (represented by squares; they have mass and position, but don’t move) are, give them initial velocities, and see how they move. Then you have to make melodies that work when played randomly against the other melodies, with no control of when the notes get played or for how long — just the order.

Check this page for some cool videos of what Kepler’s Orrery is capable of, or try out Kepler’s Orrery online in this java applet.

Visit this page for more generative music projects.

Link via CDM