AlgoMusic.com announced immediate availability of Java Music Specification Language (JMSL) v103, a music composition toolbox written in Java. Programmers can use JMSL to develop interactive music systems that can be run as stand-alone applications, or as Applets in a web page. Composers can create notated works for live ensembles and deploy their scores on the Web. Because JMSL is Java based, the applications are cross-platform and can run on Macintosh, PC, or Linux without recompiling. JMSL supports MIDI, JSyn (Java Synthesizer by softsynth.com), and Sun's JavaSound.
This new version of JMSL offers many new features and enhancements. For example, JMSL users can now easily import custom JSyn instruments into JScore, JMSL's notation editor, with just a few clicks of the mouse. Doing so requires no Java programming at all. Other new features include a plug-in API allowing programmers and third party developers to add algorithmic extensions to JScore (examples include melodic morphing, rhythmic transformations, hocketing, scrambling, etc). JMSL's new Transcriber notates algorithmically generated music and can be customized to ignore or include complex tuplets. JMSL can export MusicXML, so Finale users can load scores created in JMSL. Tighter integration with JSyn offers note-by-note timbral control of user-designed patches, and JMSL's new signal processing instruments provide polyphonic signal processing at the Instrument level. Also included are examples of how to integrate JMSL with Max/MSP, including a tool that notates music made by Max. The new PortView package allows programmers to create GUI's that switch easily between AWT and Swing.
Composition, Performance, and Music Education
JMSL has been used to create a wide variety of music including online interactive musical instruments, interactive concert hall performances, traditionally notated works, improvisational instruments, musical puzzles, self-modifying notated scores, musical illusions, and mathematical sonifications. JMSL is also being used at colleges and universities to teach composition.
Interactive Music on the Web
An example of an interactive JMSL application is "The Virtual Rhythmicon", a software recreation of an instrument built by Leon Theremin in 1931 at the request of composer/theorist Henry Cowell. This rich and complex early electronic musical machine was modeled in JMSL, and is available on the web for anyone to play. The Virtual Rhythmicon was commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio for their Music Mavericks website, and can be performed at musicmavericks.publicradio.org/rhythmicon.
Interactive Music in the Concert Hall
An example of a live JMSL piece is "Zero Waste", for sight-reading pianist and computer-generated score. Zero Waste challenges the performer to sight-read a score that is being created in real-time. Listening to the pianist's performance, JMSL continuously transcribes and notates, resulting in a new score created interactively during the performance. Zero Waste was composed for world reknown pianist Kathleen Supov . More about Zero Waste can be found at www.punosmusic.com/pages/zerowaste.
The JMSL package includes a software development kit for programmers, applet demos, a tutorial, example scores, documentation, and source code for numerous programming examples.
AlgoMusic.com is the home of Java Music Specification Language. JMSL was created by Nick Didkovsky and Phil Burk. A composer, guitarist, and programmer, Nick Didkovsky is known for his work with his own ensemble Doctor Nerve (www.doctornerve.org), the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Sirius String Quartet, and the Bang On A Can All-Stars. He is director of bioinformatics for the GENSAT Project at The Rockefeller University (www.gensat.org). Phil Burk is a computer programmer and designer who specializes in interactive and experimental music systems. He is the creator of JSyn (Java Synthesizer, www.softsynth.com/jsyn ), and with Larry Polansky and David Rosenboom created the computer music language HMSL, upon which JMSL is based.