Mobile Music: a portfolio of works exploring adaptive music generation in embedded and mobile devices.

Elise Plans

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

139 Downloads (Pure)


Generative and procedural music is well-established in various fields (games, installations, experimental performance) of computer-based compositional practice, but only in the last decade and a half has the mobile device become available as a suitable platform for its reproduction.
For this research, I aimed to create a portfolio of generative pieces firstly for an embedded mobile device called the “Breathing Stone” then as apps for mobile devices. Some of the pieces, Montague and Cantoo work as standalone procedural works, the rest, Ominator, Bespia, Nautilus and Elerem take varying degrees of input from sensors on the mobile device to modify musical and structural parameters in the compositions.
The resulting portfolio presents a way of looking at composing for the medium of the mobile device as distinct from trying to build or compose within a standardised framework, as each composition is created from its own unique audio engine. The accompanying commentary explores the existing body of work in this field, as well as themes of well-being and ‘dynamic’ music where a piece of music is designed to sound different each time it is heard.
Although a portfolio of mobile works was successfully produced, several difficulties and limitations were found when composing for the mobile device as a medium. Several of these impediments are discussed in the concluding paragraph which hopes to enlighten future composers in this field attempting similar compositions in the mobile device space.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Whiteman, Nina, Supervisor
  • Lock, Brian, Supervisor
Award date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022


  • Adaptive Music
  • Pure Data
  • Music Dataflow
  • iOS apps
  • Adaptive Music Composition
  • Composition

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