In this article, the author focuses on issues concerning musical composition practices in which emergent behavior is used to generate musical material, musical form or both. The author gives special attention to the potential of cellular automata and adaptive imitation games for music-making. The article begins by presenting two case-study systems, followed by an assessment of their role in the composition of a number of pieces. It then continues with a discussion in which the author suggests that adaptive imitation games may hold the key to fostering more effective links between evolutionary computation paradigms and creative musical processes.

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Author notes

Eduardo Reck Miranda graduated in computing at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil, and went on to study music, with a focus on composition, at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. He has an MSc in Music Technology from the University of York, U.K., and a Ph.D. in Music from the University of Edinburgh, U.K. Having previously held academic and research positions in Scotland and France, he is currently a Reader in Artificial Intelligence and Music at the School of Computing of the University of Plymouth, U.K. Miranda has published a number of books and research papers in major international journals, and his compositions have been performed worldwide. He is a member of the editorial board of Leonardo Music Journal, Organised Sound and Contemporary Music Review.