Software Training


Discover Computer-Assisted Composition – From Calculations to Music
December 8 through Sat 11 December 2021,
10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
salle Nono





1000 €

Practical information


OpenMusic is a graphical programming environment intended to assist the composer.

This program introduces participants to the graphical interface environment as a composer: discovery and use of the OpenMusic interface, creation of patches with the use of musical editors and algorithmic generation of musical sequences, an introduction to musical formalism, and the use of two types of models used in 20th century music, stochastic or random models used in "spectral" music.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to use the main functions of OpenMusic (create and open a workspace, load a library), to create simple patches, to represent and preform musical sequences with tools available in OpenMusic (chord, chord-seq, voice, multi seq, poly, and maquette), to import and generate MIDI files, and formalize simple musical problems. Participants will have acquired the conceptual and technical foundation necessary in computer-assisted composition for use in musical writing.


Composers, musicians, teachers and any person interested in computer-assisted composition.


Knowledge of music theory, participants must be able to notes and rhythms;
Basic knowledge of mathematics: arithmetic, geometry (triangles, Pythagorean and Thales theories, symmetry, airs), understanding of powers, equations with a variable, statistics, etc;
Mastery of Macintosh computers (OS X).

Educational Resources and Techniques

Classroom equipped with computers with all the necessary software installed, headphones, and MIDI keyboards;
Class Format: training alternates between presentations, explanations on theory, studying examples to analyze, and hands-on exercises;
Didactic Materials: video-projected presentations and documents.

Supervision and Assessment

Welcome the first day of training beginning at 9:45am;
Attendance controlled; signature of an attendance sheet required every morning and afternoon;
Assessment of acquired knowledge using a multiple-choice test (30 minutes) taken at the end of training.

A certificate at the end of the program is given to each participant with the results of the exam.

Training Period and Organization

24 hours of training. Wednesday- Saturday, December 8-11, 2021. 10am-1pm/2:30pm-5:30pm
11 students maximum

This training program will be held at IRCAM on-site in accordance with local sanitary guidelines and measures in place at the current time. These guidelines and measures may change. In the event that IRCAM cannot physically welcome students, an adapted program will be held virtually. For further information, please contact: info-pedagogie[at]



MorningDiscovery and use of the OpenMusic interface (Workspace, Listener and patches);
Creation of patches, main types of data;
Introduction to the formalization and configuration of the musical space;
Construction of chords.
AfternoonDifferent types of musical notation in OpenMusic, proportional notation and metric notation (<chord>, <chord-seq>, <voice>, <multi-seq>, <poly>);
Control of different musical configurations;
Algorithmic generation of musical sequences, repetition, reversal, symmetries, concatenation, and overlays. From monophony to polyphony.


MorningIteration, introduction <omloop>;
Communication from OpenMusic to other musical notation software (Finale, bach, Live, etc.);
Controlling processes from segment curves.
AfternoonUse of sketches, introduction to <maquette>;
Abstractions in OM.


MorningAudio-MIDI configuration;
Preferences and external synthesizers;
Microtonality in OM;
Introduction to formalization;
- Exercises on formalization;
- Messiaen’s scales, the use of algebraic representations
- Inversion from an axis, the use of geometric representations <omloop> review and a more in-depth look at (<listloop>, <forloop>, <onlistloop>, <while>).
AfternoonAcoustic models for music, micro-tonality and writing;
The harmonic series, use of spectral analysis for writing, ring modulation, amplitude modulation, etc. (examples from the work of Tristan Murail - Territoires de l’oubli, Gondwana, Désintégrations, etc.) ;
The Esquisse library.


MorningStochastic models in music, controlling randomness;
The notion of distribution;
Distribution of probabilities: examples in the works of Iannis Xenakis (Achorripis, Herma, etc.);
The OM-alea Library
- Distributions
- Random-Walks
- Markov chains.
Afternoon<maquette>, further analysis;
The resources available in OpenMusic to continue your learning;
Assessment of acquired knowledge using a multiple-choice test (30 minutes).