At the time of writing this article (august 2014), an early beta version of the MAIDENS software is publicly available, for both Windows and Mac OSX. It comprises the base application and one (built-in) module. The base application is able to create, edit, render and play back a musical score, as well as export it into MIDI, PDF, WAV and ABC formats. The module, namely the Atonal Line generator, is able to produce melodic lines, based on an array of selected durations, intervals, and pitch profiles. The music thus created resembles the one written by salient composers of the Second Viennese School, such as Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern. By carefully manipulating the parameters, you can even obtain melodies, that live at the border of atonality, such as Debussy-like hexatonal, or Hindemith‘s “extended-tonal” music.
We are currently seeking funding for a full year of dedicated development (there is also a dedicated article on this topic). This is meant to bring the existing beta to the fully functional, commercial application. This version will have significantly more features, of which the following are prevalent.
I. Introducing Commercial Generators
There will be four extrinsic, professional-grade, bindable generators (read more about generators classification). These will be sold, as opposed to the built-in generators, and as opposed to the base application itself, all of which will remain free. The four professional modules to be built are:
- Line Pro — provides advanced melodic generation in various musical styles and characters;
- Harmony Pro — provides homophonic passages creation, based on given bass, descant or tension profile;
- Polyphony Pro — provides counterpoints or multi-layered textures creation, either by coalescing existing melodies, or by following a multi-dimensional profile, which enforces harmony, density, restlessness, motion and tension;
- Score Architect Pro — provides improved, diagram-based design of the music’s score, down to blueprints of perceptual parameters (like the perceived consonance, density, computed musical significance, etc.) and their evolution in time. Generators can be connected directly from the diagram view, and the Architect can even suggest parameter sets for them, based on the blueprints described above (when provided).
II. More Free Generators
More built-in (and free) generators will also be included:
- Atonal Harmony and Atonal Polyphony — they are bindable, “stripped-off” versions of their commercial counterparts and complement the Atonal Line generator (already available).
- Transposition — a not bindable, manually triggered generator that alters the pitch of the notes in a selected portion of the score (either constantly, producing chromatic or diatonic transposition, or progressively, producing a bend, or condensing/expanding the range);
- Find, and Filter — these generators share the same functionality, namely, lock onto an array of musical score elements, based on a list of criteria (such as notes pitch, durations, placement, orchestration, etc.). While Find is a not bindable generator — you access it from the generators menu, and elements that match are highlighted in the score — Filter is a bindable, input-output generator. You intermix it in your generators flow to filter out certain musical elements;
- Batch — a not bindable, manually triggered generator, that you can use to manipulate more effectively your project (e.g., multiply items, create, delete or re-order more of them at once).
III. Improved Base Application
The base application itself will be improved, as to provide more solid a ground to the new, commercial generators. The most salient of the areas that are planned to change are:
- editing and playback abilities; while MAIDENS is, by no means, intended to primarily be a score editing software, it needs to be slightly on-pair with such existing applications.
- undo/redo support, along with a configurable auto-save feature;
- multi-document interface; one will be able to have several projects open at the same time, each into its own tab. This is needed, so that composers can easily move their musical ideas around;
- generators manager; will provide support for installing, uninstalling, deleting, disabling and enabling back generators — as well as configuring (where applicable, read more about generators classification and basic operation);
- generators presets manager; this feature will be accessible to both free and commercial generators, and allows you to save (as well as export and import) parameter sets.
A start date for beginning to work on these features has not been settled yet, and heavily depends on the needed funds being raised. There is also a dedicated article on this topic.