Realtime Composition and Performance
“A Demo of my University Final Year Project titled “An Investigation Into Realtime Aleatoric Composition and Performance””
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning “dice”) is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work’s realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). The term is most often associated with procedures in which the chance element involves a relatively limited number of possibilities.
The term became known to European composers through lectures by acoustician Werner Meyer-Eppler at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music in the beginning of the 1950s. According to his definition, “a process is said to be aleatoric … if its course is determined in general but depends on chance in detail”. Meyer-Eppler’s German terms Aleatorik and aleatorisch, however, both mean “aleatory”. By mistakenly rendering them, his translator inadvertently created a new English word, “aleatoric”, which quickly became fashionable.