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Music software is the internal programming of computers that supports musical production. Music software has been around for nearly 40 years. It has been seen to have profound impacts on education involving music and creative expression. Musical software has become an outlet for people who do not bond with traditional musical instruments, giving people new and creative ways to compose and perform music in ways that has never been seen before.
Music software development dates back to the 1960s and 70s. While this software was at best primitive, it nonetheless helped lay the foundation for the future development of the software and synthetic musical production. The early music software was run on large computers at several universities such as Stanford and Penn State. Much of what development came to music software came as a result of the continuous improvement to computers over time. Chain of development is seen clearly in 1978 when nearly 50 music programs came out as a result of MIDI technology, a form of computer communication still used today. MIDI technology provided the key link in hardware for musical software, giving a person a tactile control of an instrument and playing directly into the software in the computer and allowing for maximum control of the production. Fourth generation music software came out in the early 1990s. The largest improvement with this software was the addition of more detailed displays allowing the music software to show more on the screen making the program much easier to use and understand.
The effects of music software are seen in almost every song heard today in one way or another. More than ever before, songs are being recorded into DAWs (digital audio workspaces) because of their ease of use and their ability to easily manipulate audio files. Much of what used to take a team of professionals to do in a recording studio can now be done on a single computer.
Music software has led to new ways of education in relation to music. New and emerging science and studies are proving that music software is an effective way in making students more creative at a younger age by providing them with all of the instruments they could ever want within one, streamlined music program. With live loop and sample playing DAWS that can play multiple samples of audio or midi files live with a controller triggering these samples, a new breed of instruments are available to students, allowing them to express themselves in ways never before seen.
Various schools and colleges have emerged with courses in Music Production and more so in electronic music production. Every Continent has at-least one such notable institute with The North American and European continents leading the way forward. Among the most popular among the youth are, in no specific order:
- Berklee -USA
- dBs Music - UK
- Full Sail University - USA
- Point Blank Music College - UK
- Dubspot - USA
- London School of Sound - UK
- Garnish School of Sound -UK
- DBS Music - Germany
- ILM Academy - India
- Alchemea- UK
- SAE -Australia
Computers have now been made that can improvise music scores on their own, using complex algorithms. While functioning on a mathematical algorithm, it is nevertheless producing notes of its own without human instruction. Educators are beginning to recognize that computers hold the future of music. The software being developed for these machines will take music to new and startling heights with the help of computer-based production.
- Peters, David (November 1992). "Music Soft Ware and Emerging Technology.". Music Educators Journal. No. 3 79: 22–63.
- Nikolaidou, Georgia (22 Feb 2010). "A New Insight In Puplis’ Collaborative Talk, Actions and Balance During a Computer-Mediated Music Task.". Computers and Education: 720–740.
- Brown, Oliver (29 Aug 2009). "Experiments in Modular Design for the Creative Composition of Live Algorithms.". Centre for Electronic Media Art.