Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Free Workshop: Composing Music Using Your Computer

2.October 2010, 10:30 – 15:00
Bridge Arts, Sagar Street, Castleford, WF10 1AF


In this workshop the participants will learn about the tools for making music with the help of a computer. Those tools are nowadays available to anybody and allow the creation of music in ways that were previously only available to music professionals. This includes sequencing of music in abstract notation, the sound generation, the inclusion of acoustic effects, and the final recording of the music onto a CD.
The presenter Reinhold Behringer will give an introduction about those computer tools and will demonstrate them on a custom-built computer MAESTRO-2 as an example of a music computer system. The principles of sequencing and the use of samples will be explained and demonstrated with Cakewalk SONAR 8.5 and the Garritan Personal Orchestra 4.
The workshop will then focus on the classical orchestra and its instruments. Through demonstration of the individual orchestral instrument samples the acoustic space of the orchestral sound will be explored. As an example of a classical music sequence, the Symphony No 1 of Gustav Mahler, whose 150th birthday was celebrated this year (2010), will be shown as a computer score, and with this work as an example, the various techniques of electronic digital instrumentation will be demonstrated.
In the second part of this workshop, the participants will collaboratively compose a piece of music, using these computer tools. This will result in a music recording which each participant will take home as a CD.

Prerequisites brought by the participants: none, except an appreciation of music.


10:30 – 12:30 Introduction to Orchestral Computer Music
12:30 – 13:00 Lunch Break
13:00 – 15:00 Collaborative Music Composition

About the Presenter

Reinhold Behringer is Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University. His technical area of expertise is artificial intelligence, computer vision, and automatic driverless cars. His interest in classical music already began at an early age, and he played piano and joined the high school orchestra playing cello. In 1993 he began to use computer technology to create "renditions" of classical music, and in 1998 he founded the "Virtual Philharmonic Orchestra". He has created computer-based renditions of many classical orchestral music works, including Prokofjev's Symphony Classique, Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, several waltzes by Johann Strauss, and most recently Mahler's Symphony No.1. In addition he has collaborated with opera singers to create two duets from Puccini's operas using electronic digital orchestration.

Book Your Place

To book a place on this workshop please call Bridge Arts at 01977 556741.
Alternatively you can call Bohemian Books on 01977 517262 or email

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

New version of Mahler 1, 4th movement

Yesterday evening I decided to give my recording of Mahler's 4th movement an overhaul. The initial recording from 6.July had been done in quite a rush, trying to finish it before the anniversary on 7.July. Hence there were a few details that were not perfect. Especially the tempo had its problems: in my opinion now it was too slow.

So I revised the tempo and accelerated in many parts. There could still be some more acceleration, to keep the tempo more consistent in pace.

I also reduced the violin attack in a quiet passage between bars 166 and 220. Now the melody sounds much smoother.

Overall I think that I improved this recording. It is accessible on its web page in two versions: as MP3 and WMA. It also is automatically inserted into the streaming of the complete symphony which is accessible through this page.

Some pages on this web site do not load very quickly, due to the scripts for creating the links to the music files. I will have to switch this eventually to a database-oriented version.

Web site outage

From 6.September, around noon, until today, 8.Sept. around 11:13, the website of VPO has been down. This was a problem at the server side, due to overload of the database engine. The site was not accessible, instead an error 500 was displayed.

This has been fixed now, and the site is up and running.