Symmetric composition of musical concerns

Hill, Patrick; Holland, Simon and Laney, Robin (2006). Symmetric composition of musical concerns. In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on Aspect-oriented software development, ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, pp. 226–236.



Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) describes a range of techniques that enable the separation, organisation and composition of various programming concerns that cannot be adequately encapsulated using the principal decomposition mechanisms available to modern programming languages.

Naturally, most AOP-related research is focussed on its application to the development of computer software. However, we believe that it is worthwhile considering whether AOP and cognate techniques might be usefully adapted as a means for an end-user to organise, represent and compose information in computer systems that support application domains in which scattering and tangling are present.

Music is notoriously rich in deeply tangled relationships. Moreover, there is no universally accepted representation of music that simultaneously represents all dimensions of interest to the composer.

In this paper we describe Aspect Oriented Music Representation, an approach to the organisation, representation and composition of musical materials based on MDSOC. Our approach extends MDSOC by adding a dynamic hyperspace, described in Section 3, and by allowing users to write detailed composition expressions using an extensible set of compositors. We introduce the concept of composition history, enabling symmetric composition to be related to joinpoints, demonstrating a way to combine symmetric and asymmetric aspect approaches.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 4167
  • Item Type
  • Conference or Workshop Item
  • ISBN
  • 1-59593-300-X, 978-1-59593-300-3
  • Extra Information
  • The AOSD conference is the premier event for work on Aspects and is attended by the top researchers in the field. Of ninety-five papers submitted, twenty were accepted with an acceptance ratio of 21%.

    The paper is the first to seriously establish Aspect Oriented Music Representation (AOMR). It contributes to Software Engineering by demonstrating the power of combining asymmetrical and symmetrical approaches to aspects, including the use of composition history.

    AOMR promises to provide an interesting perspective on whether current approaches to computer music representations, including Common Music Notation (CMN) can be improved upon. Given the history of CMN, progress in this area would be highly significant and impact strongly on the music technology industry.

    Originally presented at the 5th International Conference on Aspect-oriented software development, Bonn, Germany, 20-24 Mar 2006.
  • Keywords
  • aspect oriented software development; music representations
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Research Group
  • Music Computing Lab
  • Depositing User
  • Robin Laney