Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



music, musical composition, musical behaviour, MidiForth, genetic algorithms, software music composition system


The development of software for musical applications has led to a proliferation of elaborate control paradigms with extremely large parameter spaces. These spaces can be daunting to explore interactively because of their vastness. Furthermore, parameters often interact in ways not made explicit by the control panel, effectively increasing the complexity of the space even further. Application of genetic algorithms (GAs) can be used to search through these vast spaces in a highly efficient manner. Coordinated control of interacting parameters is handled automatically by this system. Even for control paradigms that are well understood, the genetic algorithm can efficiently search out control settings that would have been otherwise unlikely to arise. The author has developed a software system that employs genetic algorithms to evolve 'musical organisms'. The system is built on MidiForth, the author's computer-assisted composition software [Degazio 1988, 1993] and employs many unique functions developed in previous research. This paper describes the second phase of research; future work will extend the GA searching technique to abstract, subjective musical concepts such as density and smoothness.


Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design (FAAD)


International Computer Music Conference Proceedings


Publisher's version

Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


Terms of Use

Terms of Use for Works posted in SOURCE.

Original Publication Citation

Degazio, B.G. (1996). Evolution of musical organisms. In International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) Proceedings (Volume 1996). Retrieved from


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