Synthetic Harmonies: An Approach to Musical Semiosis by Means of Cellular Automata

The authors explore the creation of artificial universes that are expressible through music and internally comprehensible as complex systems. The semiotic approach this paper presents could also allow the development of new tools of investigation into the complexity of artificial-life systems. Through codification systems using musical language, it is possible to understand the patterns that the global dynamics of cellular automata produce and to use the results in the musical domain. In the authors’ approach, music can be considered the semantics of complexity. The authors identify analogies between elements of cellular automata and elements of musical form, creating a narrative musical framework that has allowed them to develop a productive, computational and semantic methodology. Music fosters and increased capacity for analyzing and reconstructing complexity, providing unexpected insight into its organization.

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