AAAI Publications, Eighth Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference

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Quantum Composition and Improvisation
Dale E. Parson

Last modified: 2012-10-07


Quantum mechanical systems exist as superpositions of complementary states that collapse to classical, concrete states upon becoming entangled with the measurement apparatus of observer-participants. A musical composition and its performance constitute a quantum system. Historically, conventional musical notation has presented the appearance of a composition as a deterministic, concrete entity, with interpretation approached as an extrinsic act. This historical perspective inhabits a subspace of the available quantum space. A quantum musical system unifies the composition, instruments, situated performance and perception as a superposition of musical events that collapses to concrete musical events via the interactions and perceptions of performers and audience. A composer captures superposed musical events via implicit or explicit conditional event probabilities, and human and/or machine performers create music by collapsing interrelated probabilities to zeros and ones via observer-participancy.


quantum composition improvisation stochastic superposition

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