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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Computer Generated DigItal Music  
  A computer composes music with a few simple inputs from the user.  

I'm sure there must be earlier references to this idea in sf, but I'm still looking.

Waves, repetitions, pulsatons, rumblings, the rise of a violin taking off can all be described by a Fourier Series-an amalgamation of sine & cosine waves of different frequencies & amplitudes. A frequency is a number. An amplitude is a number. Charlie composed by choosing the number and deciding when to change it. His computer executed the command. He created his own computer language for imitating instruments. It was a simple matter to write a subroutine for oboe or violin or harmonica
From The Moon Goddess and the Son , by Donald Kingsbury.
Published by Not known in 1979
Additional resources -

In an interview published in Wired magazine (August, 2010) Fred Brooks states that he programmed a computer to produce hymns in the 1950's. Brooks is the author of the famous The Mythical Man-Month.

Thanks to Dennis Cote for finding this item and sharing it with us.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Moon Goddess and the Son
  More Ideas and Technology by Donald Kingsbury
  Tech news articles related to The Moon Goddess and the Son
  Tech news articles related to works by Donald Kingsbury

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