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Generative Music with Web Audio

As humans we are inherently interested in performing music, but also in constructing and observing autonomous systems that generate music for us automatically. We’ve been building such systems throughout history, with everything from ancient garden ornaments to the latest innovations in artificial intelligence and deep learning.

The web platform has a lot to offer to the creation and distribution of generative music: With Web Audio and JavaScript, artists and developers can build their generative works on a universal runtime that will allow them to run on any platform and any device. And they can also easily distribute their works on the very same platform – something that has been out of reach for most generative musicians throughout history. On the web, all you need to do is share a link.

In this talk I explore some landmark generative music works spanning a wide historical time period up to the present day. We'll discover how the essential qualities of these systems can be reproduced using Web Audio and JavaScript. I hope that studying and appreciating what has been done before may inspire new generative music tools and musical works unique to the web.