Algorithmic Music: Art in Mathematics | Hane Lee | TEDxMIT

Published on September 9, 2019 by Test Graveyard

TEDx Talks

Music and math are closer relatives than one might think. 20th-century avant-garde composers like Phillip Glass, John Cage, and Karlheinz Stockhausen were intrigued by the mathematical aspects of composition and experimented with methods for algorithmic generation of music.

Watch MIT pianist Hane Lee perform Terry Riley’s Keyboard Study No. 1, in which the pianist is given discretion to combine a number of short musical figures according to formal rules of combination, such as “If any figure from lines 8-10 is played in the alignment of continuum figure 7, it may be combined with other figures from lines 8-10.”

Hane Lee is a master’s student in the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future and amateur pianist specializing in classical-contemporary music. Hane’s research interests include self discovery and identity exploration through music, immersive musical experiences, and layered soundscapes. Much of their inspiration comes from many philosophy and political identity texts, their classical-contemporary piano practice, and their math-heavy background. Recently, they have been wondering how to create a sense of freedom through sound. Hane holds an undergraduate degree from MIT in electrical engineering with a minor in music. Musician This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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