pySchö: algorithmic music composition

In a previous post, I have talked about a python script used to generate random music starting from a single number (a “seed”).

So, today I’d like to share with you pyScho.

The name is a contraction of “Python” and “Schönberg” (from Arnold Franz Walther Schönberg, the father dodecaphony [3]): although I’m italian, I don’t realized that the italian pronunciation might be awkward.

Despite the project name contains the name of a musician well-known for dodecaphonic composition, pyScho [1] currently allows only the creation of diathonic melodies.

So, I started with a dictionary with common musical scales:

scales = {
"major" : [0, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11],
"minor" : [0, 2 , 3, 5, 7, 10, 11],
"dorian" : [0, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12],
"phrygian" : [0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12],
"minor_pentatonic" : [0, 3, 5, 7, 10],
"major_pentatonic" : [0, 2, 4, 7, 9],
"harmonic_minor" : [0, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12],
"mixolydian": [0, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10],
"minor_blues" : [0, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10],
"locrian" : [0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12],
"lydian" :[0, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12],
}

And a simple function to create an array containing a 2 octave scale:

def get_notes(start, intervals):
    return_array = []
    for x in range(0, 2):
        for y in range(0,len(intervals)):
            return_array.append(start + (intervals[y] + (12 * x)))
    return return_array

Then, using random python lib, the script generates two arrays, containing notes and duration.

Finally, the script uses midiutil [2] lib to save the generated melody on a .mid file.

The result is a basic command line tool, below the usage:

usage: pyscho.py [-h] [--scale SCALE] [--start START] [--bars BARS] seed outputfile
positional arguments:
   seed Algorithm seed
   outputfile output file name

optional arguments:
   -h, --help show this help message and exit
   --scale SCALE musical scale: major, minor, dorian, phrygian, minor_pentatonic, major_pentatonic, harmonic_minor, mixolydian,
minor_blues, locrian, lydian (default: major)
   --start START first note (default: 60 - C4)
   --bars BARS number of bars (default: 10)

and here a screenshot:

the generated melody can be open with any musical editor, like Musecore:


References

  1. https://github.com/andreafortuna/pyscho
  2. https://github.com/MarkCWirt/MIDIUtil
  3. Arnold Schoenberg – Wikipedia

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