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Where's all the FAQs?

Here, but there's not many yet; for now, you're best off in the ToplapPapers section.

However, if there's a particular question you'd like answered, please add it here and someone will add the answer shortly.

What is TOPLAP in simple, easy to understand English? is a collection of artists and musicians who choose the computer as the vehicle for expressing their art. This usually, but not always, takes on the form of LiveCoding.

Where's the music? I want to hear!

  • See the HistoricalPerformances section for some archived performances including TOPLAP in Aarhus and the ChucK projected duet.
  • There's a live coding session I (DaveGriffiths) did here: here which was a rehersal for this gig. Both are quite long (20 mins) so there is a shorter track: here. They are composed by programming the rules for melody generating lsystems live. I'll document this process more clearly soon, as its being developed quite a lot - but the current spec for the score language can be found here
  • ClickNilson spent a month practising live coding documenting every keystroke, and there are a few mp3 excerpts here too
  • There are a few performances coding from scratch using ChucK, complete with video and scores: here

What's the difference between generative music and live coding?

DEFN 1 Generative music is created from some algorithm, usually running autonomously. There may be controls (parameters/arguments) to this process but the algorithm itself is fixed. Live coding is a way to substantially modify the actual nature of that algorithm, even as it calculates, in a realtime performance or interactive composition setting.

DEFN 2 They are kind of opposites.

Generative music is about sowing seeds, comparable with genetic modification; altering DNA, putting the DNA in eggs, and watching it grow to see/hear the effects. In contrast, live coding is more about piecing animals together from scratch in the womb, splicing different live animals together, modifying their DNA while they're still growing, then experimenting with different ways of slaughtering them to get the best audio/visual/aromatic effects.

Note: The above contains bold use of metaphor. TOPLAP does not condone any such activities on real life-forms. Computer processes are not known to experience pain, and don't have faces.