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Strict counterpoint: a case study in musical composition by computers

Ebcioğlu, Kemal
This thesis is concerned with the particular problem of composing 5th species two voice strict counterpoint exercises for a given Cantus firmus. The melody (Contrapunctus) has been represented in the computer as a Lisp List. A class of Lisp functions, called 'normal characteristic functions' has been defined and several lemmata and theorems related to the mathematical properties of these functions have been proved. Normal characteristic functions have then been utilized for recognizing and generating certain classes of melodies (Lisp lists) which obey given rules of counterpoint. The implementation of a computer program which generates strict counterpoint exercices using this theory has been described. In this implementation a full set of academically acceptable rules of counterpoint has ben used, in addition to new rules propounded by the author. The computer outputs and some transcriptions of computer composed melodies in conventional music notation have been included in the text of the thesis. The results have been found to be very promosing.