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That Music You're Dancing To? It's Code


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Sonic Pi was built to be a teaching aid.

Zach Krall onstage during a live coding event in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Some D.J.s have eschewed electronic instruments to make music with computer code.

Credit: Demetrius Freeman/The New York Times

Sonic Pi is a coding language that may be used to construct melodies in real time at live coding shows, which are sometimes called "algoraves."

The language can find middle C, summon the Amen Break, and play dozens of synth sounds with just a few commands, making it a favorite among DJs at these live events.

Sonic Pi was developed by University of Cambridge researcher Sam Aaron to be a teaching aid. Aaron wanted to combine the work of programming with the joy of music, with the overall goal of inventing a coding environment that functioned as an instrument, allowing users to type out rhythm and melody.

Said Aaron, "In the same way we can read and write poems and lyrics, we need to understand that code can have that expressive quality as well."

From The New York Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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