[sdiy] Pink Tunes self-composing program.

David Manley dlmanley at sonic.net
Mon Jan 1 23:08:50 CET 2018

Hi David,

It's not clear if your looking for the program or more music made with it?

Marvin Jones has a lot of the Polyphony magazines scanned and available 


The source for Pink Tunes (assembly code) is in this book:

The Source: Book of Patching and Programming, ISBN 0-933338-00-7, 1978

The chapter you want is:



P.S. Marvin worked at PAiA with John Simonton.

On 12/31/17 4:04 PM, David Bulog wrote:
> Happy New Year all!
> Looking for more  Pink Tunes program
> Thanks in advance
> David
> <https://www.discogs.com/Synergy-Computer-Experiments-Volume-One/master/9356>" 
> is a recording of three different executions of a microcomputer 
> self-composing program. The program, called _Pink Tunes_ was written 
> by John Simonton 
> <https://www.discogs.com/artist/2851587-John-Stayton-Simonton-Jr>of 
> PAIA Electronics, inc. and is an application of the stochastic process 
> to electronic music. In simple terms, the computer is given a narrowed 
> field of notes, durations, harmonies and the like from the total 
> spectrum of all possibilities. The composer sets all of the musical 
> ground rules, but then lets the computer combine and "compose" the 
> musical elements in constantly varying ways according to stochastic, 
> or controlled randomness structures.
> All of the musical manipulations are carried out within the computer 
> in digital form. Each musical note, time duration or other parameter 
> is represented by a specific number in digital code. It is only after 
> the computer has finished its decision making process and output its 
> results digitally that the code is converted into control voltages 
> that an analog synthesizer can use. In theory, a similar program could 
> be used to direct synthesis.
> The program will generate up to four-part harmonies on each run. 
> Several passes using different synthesizer voicings for each overdub 
> were used for these recordings. All sounds were generated by a 
> Sequential Circuits, Ind. Prophet 5 synthesizer controlled by a PAIA 
> 8700 6503-based microcomputer system via a specially designed Synergy 
> System interface. Recording was done conventionally on an MCI one-inch 
> eight-track recorder with DBX noise reduction. Mixing was through an 
> MCI board to a Studer A80 two-track analog tape machine. All delays 
> and echos were digitally produced using a DeltaLab DL-2 and an EMT 251 
> electronic reverberation system.
> Some more information about stochastic structures as they relate to 
> electronic music can be found in John Simonton 
> <https://www.discogs.com/artist/2851587-John-Stayton-Simonton-Jr>'s 
> article about the _Pink Tunes_ program in the July/August 1978 issue 
> of Polyphony magazine (volume 4, number 1; Polyphony Publishing Co.; 
> Oklahoma, City, Oklahoma). A general overview of the field including 
> an extensive bibliography can be found in an article entitled 
> "Compositional Applications of the Stochastic Processes" by Kevin 
> Jones in the Summer 1981 issue of _Computer Music Journal_ (volume 5, 
> number 2; MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England).
> Larry Fast <https://www.discogs.com/artist/325903-Larry-Fast>
> August, 1981
> Bath, England
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