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World music genres

In the twentieth century different forms of world music were developed. After the introduction of these genres by singular musicians or small circles of musicians there was a period of consolidation in the last century. With the beginning of the twenty-first century the world musicians can name and characterize their compositions.

If the musician wants to express a reference to a former period of music he can use the expression “neo“ to indicate that he presents an old form introducing new parameters. He can also create a new genre which only pretends to be an allusion of the old forms. The musician can use terms referring to a new form of a music genre which has already been established.

The genre can be specified by the arrangement which can be based on a saxophone or a synthesizer. In addition the genre can be defined by the structure of the music. It can be based on a certain form of music like the nuba, the sonata form or minimalist and processual forms.

If the musician wants to introduce a new genre he can define the characteristics of his compositions in a positive way.
Zahra M.M.A. Sadiq is a pioneer naming her genre “floating counterpoint”. The characterization of this genre which is complex is outlined in the blog post “floating counterpoint”. The elaborate musicological classification and characterization will be published in her new book which will be published in 2017.

Naming a genre according to a date, for example avant-garde, modernism, postmodernism, post postmodernism, defines the genre as well. The music can also be specified according to the location of its emergence or its effective radius or a combination of both.

Please browse this blog to find more information on the genre floating counterpoint.




Composing electronic music presupposes that the composer can be proficient on his instrument and that he can be an expert of music theory. He can study the composers and their music of different eras and describe their relationship to the standards of their time.

Taking into account the historical development of music, its technical and theoretical basis the oeuvre of a composer can be a valuable contribution to music history and it can even influence a new genre. As far as Zahra M.M.A. Sadiq’s theoretical research is concerned, the empirical evaluation and validation is still to be completed by universities before the theoretical contribution becomes acknowledged.

Please browse this blog to find more information on the genre floating counterpoint.



Quantum composition

Basically quantum computing and machine learning belong to different realms of science. The quantum computer is more suitable to solve tasks like factorisation and encryption. Because particular properties of algorithms are more appropriate for quantum computing than classical algorithms the quantum computer can solve specific tasks of machine learning better than a classical computer.

Techniques which resemble quantum computing techniques even affect classical forms of computing. Hybrid techniques combine the advantages of both techniques. Quantum machine learning can be based on supervised learning, unsupervised learning or reinforcement learning.

The specific
advantages of the quantum composition can be based on the capacity of the quantum computer which can search very quickly. Applying suitable algorithms the quantum composition can solve questions that will shape the future of the theory of music. Using special development tools or libraries developers can create particular applications and algorithms.




Unusual sounds can be produced by

* innovative and new instruments

* instruments which are played in an unusual manner

* instruments which are not common in a culture

* instruments which cease to be popular in the course of history.

An instrument like Orphion which produces the sound electronically can be integrated into a DAW using an audiobus and into other other synth apps via MIDI. The musician can use virtual pads and choose a form of tonality which is appropriate for his music. The instrument combines the advantages of the conventional electronic sound generation which can be learned as a particular instrument with a specific sound and the variety of the configuration options concerning the pad sensitivity and the sound quality.



Guitar-to-MIDI system

The guitar-to-Midi system converts the analog signal of the guitar into MIDI. The converter uses the methods of quantification and harmonization. Alterations to specific tones can be limited based on the memory of the converter. The use of a fretless guitar is a particular challenge for the storage capacity of the converter.

The noise resulting from the change from the bass strings to the nylon strings can be attenuated by setting the responsivity of the converter but it cannot be eliminated. While the guitar-to-Midi system based on hardware is very expensive and needs a lot of equipment with virtual MIDI guitar software no particular hardware is necessary.

Using a guitar to MIDI system
the guitar player can develop his guitar skills and techniques and at the same time he can integrate electronic sounds. He can develop different ways of plucking the strings and phrasing and is able to experiment with sounds. It is possible to improvise using the guitar as a traditional instrument. The musician can interact with a virtual musical companion based on AI.

Applied by a trained musician who respects the particularities of the guitar-to-MIDI conversion system the sound can have an excellent quality.

The Trailer for Electronica

The Virtual Academy for eComposition, Audio Engineering and Music Theory


Zahra M.M.A. Sadiq




At the beginning of creating a new piece of music the composer chooses the compositional technique which is appropriate to realize the sound he imagines.

There is an infinite number of ways of combining the sounds of a tonal system. Limitations of the compositional freedom result from theoretical conventions which have been established in the course of the history of music. The composer can decide to accept certain rules which are appropriate for his targeted genre.

Electronic music seems to be free from tradition because electronic sound generators are young instruments.
Some compositional particularities of electronic music which are reasonable for sonic reasons have been described. If the composition uses exclusively synthesizers effects can be reduced and the superimposition of frequencies can be avoided. Using a limited size of instruments emphasizes each of the sounds.

The techniques of creating soundscapes and sound-paintings are different from the complex compositional form and the theory of harmony in music. Music is structure, proportion and sound.

The development of artificial intelligence in the realm of composition can change the rules of this form of art. If it affects the art of composing in a sophisticated way depends on its contribution to the history of music.

Zahra M.M.A. Sadiq
Gardens of the Nile
Anwar Ifriqia (The Lights of Africa)
Available: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ZahraMMASadiq



Binaural beats

The psychoacoustic role of composing is important because it determines the perception of music. It is also significant for the creation of hardware which supports the most sophisticated music experience.

Because the tradition of the science of psychoacoustics is not long the effects of brainwave music and binaural beats are still being researched. Binaural beats are based on the creation of sound with different frequencies for the left and right box. The sound should be a pure-tone sine wave with a low frequency and the difference between both partial sounds should be less than 40 Hz. Alpha waves, beta waves, theta waves and gamma waves are neural oscillations resembling the electrical waves of the brain.

The brain has the ability to imagine sounds which do not appear physically. This auditory illusion is the basis for the invention of the MP3. The creation of an imagination of sounds has become an important aspect of composing. Breaks are not regarded as space for imagination because they do not connect parts of the piece of music but interrupt them.



The Music of the primes

Insecure trials of the past can become techniques which are acknowledged. Even an attempt which fails can be an important result. This is especially true for the trial to determine the regularities of distances between prime numbers with neural nets.

Prime numbers possess properties which can be described but have not been proven. They include the Goldbach conjecture, the twin prime conjecture and the abc conjecture. The significance of prime numbers is not restricted to the realm of encryption.

It seems as though prime numbers can only be described indirectly. From a physical and mathematical point of view and from a musical perspective a connection between oscillations and prime numbers has been stated. This relationship is especially important for the realm of audio engineering.

Prime numbers are benchmarks in the tonal system. In an indirect way prime numbers are integrated into the system of sounds. They are essential factors participating in the system of the non-prime numbers. Musical frequencies and intervals can be described as proportions which contradict the nature of prime numbers. Primes do not participate directly in the tonal system, but they play an important role in the regular and symmetric system of music.



Celestial sound

The music of the spheres is the music created by the orchestra of the universe. Waves are based on the oscillation of a medium which rises and declines periodically. The period of time equals 1/frequency. The frequency equals 1/period of time.

The frequency f of the tone a‘ equals 1/440 Hz which equals 0,0022727 seconds. One earth day equals 1/86.400 seconds. The duration of the years of the saros period equals 1/18 seconds. The years of the precision of the earth axis equals 1/25.920 seconds. The first overtone of a sound is its octave with a proportion of 2/1. Multiplication of the value of the frequency with 2^n calculates a value which is audible to human beings. Electromagnetic waves can also be converted into sound.

The value received by applying the formula used to calculate the octaves of astronomical periods (1/a) times x times 2^n equals f is not accurate. Imprecise values occur at the astonomical and the musical level.

Recurring patterns, numerical series and periodicity of the cycles of the celestial bodies connect the sciences of music and cosmology.



AI and music

Creative artificial intelligence can be the result of training neural nets to generate content based on the analysis of a large number of pieces of music. If the computer program is taught the rules of a certain tonal system it can rearrange sounds and create music. Music theory is based on rules which structure the simultaneous or the successive sound of frequencies. It is possible to determine statistical values for the coordination of sounds and the arrangement of scales.

Tones or harmonies can be arranged according to logical concepts based on axioms and theorems. The program can also compose a piece of music applying reinforcement learning. Recurrent neural networks (RNN) can use musical phrases as input and generate an output in form of a sequence, a variation, a diminuition or an augmentation. Time plays an important role concerning the programming of this network.

Artificial intelligence can be applied to the realm of digital sound processing. Pitch and time of audio files can be formalized and the sound can be optimized, edited and corrected.

AI is appropriate for the nature of music which is based on numbers. Psychoacoustic research shapes the development of the technology of music. The effect of the connection of certain harmonies and sequences of tones on the listener is predictable.




The composition of music is interconnected with its arrangement. It is possible to write a piece of electronic music for an orchestra, but this music is most suitable for the small and complex form of chamber music. It is appropriate to emphasize the particularities of the synthesizer. Composing is the art of structuring sound and arranging the entirety of the frequencies of the universe.

Of course there are historical conventions determining methods for beautiful compositions, but they do not exclude the development of new sound systems in the future. Every rule which has been created in the course of the history of music from the counterpoint to atonal music is a trial which aims at organizing the limitless possibilities of determining frequencies and their proportions. Research in the realm of the development of the tonal system presupposes the mathematical, physical and electronical or electroacoustical creation of new scales and groups of sounds which can be arranged reasonably by the composer. These sounds can be abstract and they do not have to appear as so-called noise in reality.

The achievements of the historical music theory form the point of departure for the creation of new structures. Their appreciation is the core of the renewal of a new sonic art. Zahra M.M.A. Sadiq’s album “Gardens of the Nile” is based on polytonality and the reinterpretation of compositional techniques characterized by colourful harmonics, the extended tonality of the early moderns and contemporary music, the elaborate counterpoint and highly structured serial techniques.

The tonal system is still worth being developed. The cosmos is number and harmony and music is related to this model. Many harmonies and frequencies which can be found in space resemble the sounds of music used on earth. Sound systems avoid prime numbers. The ear and taste of the trained musician is the benchmark for the creation of the sound systems of the future.




Pythagoras regarded the cosmos as number and harmony. The physical frequencies which are symbolized by the scales form the core of music. For those who agree that the importance of harmony in music is timeless the production of electronic music is a challenge. Using a guitar-to-MIDI conversion system the sound diversity can be enhanced by using a fretless guitar.

Regardless of the limitations based on the memory of the converter the synthesizer creates the sound by mistuning the digitally controlled oscillators (DCO) relative to each other. The low-frequency oscillation (LFO) modifies the sound of the very low frequencies. Other effects like the tremolo, the pitch wheel or the vibrato for example influence the overall sound.

Musicians using instruments like the synthesizer can formulate their imagination of an ideal instrument. It is not necessary that one synthesizer produces 1000 and 1 sounds. It would be more impressive if the instrument permitted the creation of a specific framework of sounds including their overtones and undertones using precise tone generators. Composers are part of the process of producing the electronic instruments. The creation of the instrument defines the development of its music.



The Art of engineering

Is audio engineering science or art? One could ask for a definition of science. Or it is possible to ask for a definition of the concept definition.

One could say: Science describes the cosmos in a way that general rules are derivable. These rules contribute to the comprehension of the cosmos and its positive development.

Science is dialogue, argueing, justifying and reasoning. Posing the right questions is more important than giving answers.

Audio engineering is theoretical. Sounds can be described in a physical and a mathematical sense. Audio engineering is empirical. The perception of sound can be captured with the method of statistical research. The scientist should use both methods which depend on each other and his view should move from one method to the other. Audio engineering is a form of art. Like mathematicians audio engineers prefer the most beautiful solution for a complex problem. It does not make a difference whether a human being programs a computer which composes a piece of music or whether the human being composes the computer music himself.

Combined with the art of composing audio engineering is an artistic science creating a sonic impression based on numbers and proportions. It deserves the most sophisticated appreciation.