Assigned Date: Monday, Sep. 15, 2014
Due Date: Monday, Sep. 22, 2014
Due Time: 9:55am
Last modified on October 28, 2014, at 08:41 AM (see updates)
Assignment created by Dr. Blake Stevens.
- To prompt creative thought about musical transcription, arrangement, and recomposition.
- To apply in practice skills in reading traditional notation and using jythonMusic.
- To gain a deeper understanding of Bach’s compositional style.
Pick one of the works included in the score packet or any of the movements of the ''Goldberg
Variations'' (posted on OAKS); working independently, use jythonMusic to create a transcription,
arrangement, or recomposition of the work of at least 50 seconds in length. Be creative in your
treatment of sound, including timbre (instrumentation), dynamics, and panning, to produce an
interesting piece of music. Consider three different ways of “transforming Bach” in this project:
Transcription: transferring a piece of music from one instrumental medium to another - for
example, from violin to lute, guitar, or keyboard. This is the most “literal” form of adaptation,
although the transfer of the work from the keyboard to the medium of the computer (with its
wide range of sounds) will nonetheless entail creative thought.
Arrangement: adaptation or development of an existing work that preserves a clear, perceptible
correspondence to the original work, although features such as voicing, register, timbre, and
instrumentation are more significantly altered than in a transcription.
Recomposition: transformation or appropriation of elements of an existing work to create a new
work; with new parts or voices, rhythms (including percussion), basslines, and freely-composed
music added by the composer, the original work now functions as a “template” or “scaffolding”
on which a new work or performance is built, or as a mine of musical “material” to be exploited.
is technique is related to “plunderphonics,” the sampling of audio recordings to create sound
collages (see John Oswald, “Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative”).
- MIDI recording of your project on OAKS (also to be played in class, Monday, September 22).
- 1-page paper (printed, submitted in class) describing your musical and aesthetic objectives in
creating this adaptation of Bach.
- Printout (submitted in class) of fully documented program, including (as comments) your
name, project number and title (Project #1: Transforming Bach), course (MUSC 131), and date.
Projects will be graded according to the requirements listed above and the creativity/work
demonstrated in the resulting work.
In class we worked through several programs that put all Jython Music data structures into practice. Write a Jython program that generates an interesting piece of music.
Follow the Golden Rule of Style: "A program should be as easy for a human being to read and understand as it is for a computer to execute." 
In general, you should comment any variable, obscure statement, block of code, etc. you create. Follow the textbook examples on how to document code.
Additionally, your code should always include opening comments as follows:
(:source lang=Python tabwidth=3 -trim :)
- Author: Your names
- Email: Your email addresses
- Class: CITA 180
- Assignment: Homework #2
- Due Date: The assignment's due date
- Purpose: Provide a simple, yet complete description of the task being
- performed by this program. It may be several sentences long.
You will submit your assignment via OAKS. Be prepared to demo your music to the rest of the class. Your submission consists of:
- Your Python program. Give it a meaningful name.
- The MIDI file generated from your program.
- A printout of your program - to be submitted in class during the performance.
Your grade will be based on how well you followed the above instructions, and the depth/quality of your work.
Some Interesting Submissions
Here are some interesting submissions:
- Avril 14 (MIDI and Python), by Daniel Hanf
- Nonsense (MIDI and Python), by Samuel Cooper (original)
- Intro (MIDI and Python), by Hudson Jones
- Take Five (MIDI and Python), by Johnathan Hegler and George Woolston
"Any amount of work can be done in any amount of time... only the quality varies." ~Joao Meidanis
- Cooper, D. and Clancy, M. (1985) "Oh! Pascal", 2nd ed., W.W. Norton & Company, New York, p. 42.