Opusmodus 2.0

The Composing Continuum


WHATS NEW: microtonality, counterpoint, choralis, tonnetz, tonnetz-analysis, quantum, density, density-analysis, polyphony, midi-to-score, midi-to-omn
and more...

OMN The Language


OMN is designed as a scripting language for musical events. It’s not about sounds themselves, it is about their control and organisation in a musical composition. As a linear script rather than a graphic stave, musical events can be transformed, extended, reorganised by powerful computer algorithms. The truly original aspect of OMN is that it has been designed to speak directly to traditional musical notation. Everything written in OMN script can be rendered instantly to notation and to a performance simulation.

As the OMN language is laid out and explored we’ll see just how fully the language of music staff notation is mirrored. This is not just in the standard elements of rhythms, pitch and dynamics but in the vast library of musical attributes that cover the way pitches and rhythms are performed by different instruments and voices. So musical notation is always there. Whatever you write an instant ’snippet’ can be rendered to view alongside your script.



There are two types of omn snippets. The first one is a single voice snippet which displays and auditions a contents of a list and a list of lists into one staff notation. The second one is for a multi voice display. Each of the snippets has its own shortcut key.

The single voice snippet shortcut is ⌘1 and the multi voice snippet shortcut is ⌘2. The best way to examine the examples below is to copy and paste the expressions into the editor file ie. composer panel. You can stop audition at anytime by pressing ⌘ESC keys.

MIDI Display

midi player

The Midi Player provides an instant visual guide to the play of pitch, rhythm, duration and velocity (dynamics). Sounding out a composer’s script is accompanied by its graphic representation and immediate playback in this Midi Player window. A pitch event’s intersection with a bar and beats grid is uniquely colour-coded and matched in a display of velocity below the bar and beat grid. Play and Rewind controls are activated from a contextual menu or from keystroke commands: Spacebar for Play and Return for Rewind.

With Zoom In and Zoom Out one or any number of bars can be viewed in sharp detail. In the top left corner see the time signature display. Where changing signatures are frequent this display changes as the first bar on the left of the window appears. Tempo changes are displayed in a similar way at the bottom of the grid. The instruction Ignore Ports allows the composer to choose between the on-board GM sample-player or use personal outboard or inboard sound sources.

Notation - Music XML

music xml

That Opusmodus has adopted MusicXML as the de facto standard for displaying notated scores should be no surprise. This is inextricably bound up with the development of the distinctive Opusmodus Notation script (OMN).

It gives the composer the means to design into the very composition of a score a host of musical details that have until now been impossible to bring together in a single line of script.

Live Coding

live coding

The Live Coding Instrument in the QuickView panel (top right) can explore in realtime the further potential of your own script or midifile recording. Performing with LCI allows two modes of interaction: with the scripted code itself, and with the buttons and slider of the LCI interface. Live Coding is sometimes called 'on-the-fly programming' or 'just in time scripting’.

It is a scripting practice centred on the use of improvised interactive programming. The LCI gives the composer an intuitive control panel and the possibility of working in true live coding style directly with the script. In practice composers who use the Live Coding Instrument often begin with a script, make a change, then ‘playing’ that change from the buttons of the LCI control panel.



Making 2-D visualisations of musical parameters offer a new way of conceptualisation. Opusmodus graphical tools can plot pitch, rhythms, duration, dynamics and orchestration and there's a host of different display paradigms available.

The composer can now view the interaction of multiple streams of parametric data, a perfect way to take in complex algorithmically-generated material. Composers often use such visualisations in the early stages of a project before precise pitches or rhythms are decided upon.


Compose like on paper with OMN

More Videos

Coding a score

Made in Opusmodus

Live Coding Instrument improvisation by Janusz Podrazik, for FM8, Reaktor, Absynth, Vienna Imperial and Prepared Pianos with five workspaces.

Quantization. Composition by Yuichi Yamamoto.

Brin D'or by Stephane Boussuge. Short piece for violin solo and Strings ensemble with Fibonacci based harmony.

Users Audio & Scores

Parataxis for Ensemble by Robert Scott Thompson. A septet… Alto Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Viola, Violoncello, Piano, Percussion. This is a live recording from the premiere at the Trieste Prima Festival and is by Ensemble MD7 conducted by Steven Loy.


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Opusmodus Lessons

Learn by Composing
with Stephane Boussuge

Opusmodus offers lessons to students and professionals interested in composing music with Opusmodus. We provide lessons for beginners and advanced users with or without programming knowledge, online (Skype) or on site. The lessons are created to give you a greater understanding of the Opusmodus design and introduce you to the main features focusing on different composing approaches.

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“Opusmodus is currently the most advanced software for computer-assisted composition available. It comes with the highest development potential to fulfil the aesthetical and technical requirements for contemporary composers. At the University Mozarteum, Salzburg Opusmodus is already part of the compositional education and will be the preferred production environment in the future."

Univ. Prof. Achim Bornhoeft 
Head of Studio for Electronic Music, Head of Institute for New Music

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