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Opusmodus

Structural Composition System

Opusmodus is aimed at composers of all kinds - of art music, concert music, choral music, film music, jazz, electroacoustic music, music for games and new media, songwriters. Opusmodus is a comprehensive computer-aided environment for the whole work of music composition a virtual space where a composer can develop ideas and experiments for projects large and small. Opusmodus allows you to explore more than one structure at the same time. It also allows the composer to study the interaction between the different structures with more meaningful outcome.
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Fundamentals of composition with Opusmodus

Marco Giommoni – Janusz Podrazik

This is the first volume of a series of publications specifically dedicated to composition and analysis of music using the Opusmodus system. This volume focuses on the basic elements of the system and on the “fundamental" strategies in defining symbolic expressions in a text-code i.e. generation and transformation of musical material to create a score. In this book, a few pages were dedicated to the history of musical theory, with particular reference to the relationship between numbers and music in the second half of the 20th century. The purpose of the book is therefore to demonstrate that the use of Opusmodus system is simple, linear, easy to learn and within the reach of every musician, and is by no means part of a universe reserved only for the few.

ISBN 9791280270078

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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 Stéphane Boussuge. Short piece for violin solo and Strings ensemble with Fibonacci based harmony.


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.

Composition Process with Opusmodus software

By Julio Herrlein

How-to in 100 sec

By  Jor van der Poel

I've never liked drawing automation curves, luckily, with Opusmodus, we don't have to. This video shows you how to create accurate automation shapes and apply them to any parameter you want.

Starting with a graph is a great way to come up with new musical ideas. This video will show you how to modulate a sine-wave and map the result to a sequence of pitches.

Being able to visualize a code-snippet can go a long way in understanding how a function works. This video shows you how to create multiple graphs and apply them in a musical way.

It's easy to get stuck with the same old drum patterns, not with Opusmodus though. This video shows you how to use the polygon-rhythm function to create interesting and new patterns.

Writing for four voices traditionally takes a lot of practice and patience, as it should be. Still, it's great to get a little bit of help sometimes. In this video I show you how to use the CHORALIS function to experiment with voice leading in a very straightforward way.

The power of Parametric Composition lies in the ability to separate individual aspects of your compositions. This video will show you how to experiment with different velocities before mapping them again to a row of pitches.

OMN The Language

Everyone Can Code

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. Some sequencers and score writers provide basic algorithms, but they do not represent the way composers now think about the process of music composition. Composing has become such a multi-faceted process and takes ideas about structure and content from many disciplines: mathematics, astronomy, literature, the visual arts. As such it requires extensive mental resources and experience from the composer. Much of this is still done by hand and eye and brain because although computer systems do exist to help the process along they don’t provide what has become known as the composing continuum. This means that a single workspace and workflow environment has not been generally available that can take in the whole process of composing a piece - from first thoughts to a printed score and reference recording. Wouldn’t it be good to be able to do everything in one place?

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I. Strawinsky, Petruschka, 1911/21
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W. A. Mozart, Variation KV 265
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A. Webern, Sechs Bagatellen für Streichquartett, op. 9, III, 1913
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J. S. Bach, Goldberg-Variationen, Aria, 1741

Microtonality

Microtonal music or microtonality is the use in music of microtones—intervals smaller than a semitone, also called "microintervals". It may also be extended to include any music using intervals not found in the customary Western tuning of twelve equal intervals per octave. In other words, a microtone may be thought of as a note that falls between the keys of a piano tuned in equal temperament.

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Luigi Nono, Fragmente-Stille, An Diotima, Violin 1 (fragement, 1979-1980)

Tonnetz

In musical tuning and harmony, the Tonnetz (German: tone-network) is a conceptual lattice diagram representing tonal space (net) first described by Leonhard Euler in 1739. Various visual representations of the Tonnetz can be used to show traditional harmonic relationships in European classical music.

In Opusmodus there are 12 Tonnetz structures labelled by a number and by an intervallic content of the composite chord. The intervallic content is a number of semitones associated with the different interval axis.

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Tonnetz space 11
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Tonnetz space 8 and 12

Counterpoint

In Opusmodus the COUNTERPOINT function designates patterns to a number of voices with defined methods for each voice.

Bruno Maderna - Serenata Per un Satellite (1969)
Durata: da un minimo di 4' - a 12'
Tempo Generale 42, 92, 132 ca.

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Bruno Maderna, Serenata Per un Satellite (1969)

Micropolyphony

Micropolyphony is a polyphonic musical texture developed by György Ligeti which consists of many lines of dense canons moving at different tempos or rhythms, thus resulting in tone clusters vertically. According to David Cope, "micropolyphony resembles cluster chords, but differs in its use of moving rather than static lines"; it is "a simultaneity of different lines, rhythms, and timbres".

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Micropolyphony example for two choirs

Graphs

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.

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Manuals

Introduction to Opusmodus

Language: English.
© MMXXI Opusmodus™ Ltd. All rights reserved.

Introduction to OMN (PDF)
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Learn by Composing

with Stéphane 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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Stéphane Boussuge01
Photo © Emanuel A. Klempa

Janusz Podrazik

Founder and creator of the Opusmodus System, Composer and Programmer

The Opusmodus Structural Composition System was developed by Janusz Podrazik and team to take music into new directions and to contribute to unique outcomes.

Programmers

Bill St. Clair
Ernst van Waning
Gail Zacharias
Greg Pfeil
Janusz Podrazik
Matthew Emerson
Zachary Beane

Documentation

Dietmar Mondon
Dominik Šedivý
Janusz Podrazik
Marco Giommoni
Nigel Morgan
Phil Legard
Stéphane Boussuge

Contributors

Achim Bornhoeft
Alain Jacomet Forte
André Meier
Didier Debril
Fabio De Sanctis De Benedictis
Gioia Meller Marcovicz
James Sutton
Jesper Elén
Jor van der Poel
Julio Herrlein
Marco Giommoni
Nigel Morgan
Patrick Mimran
Rangarajan Krishnamoorthy
Stéphane Boussuge
Torsten Anders

Testimonial

mozarteum logo

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