Music of the Random Sort

For a video project I am working on, I wanted some background music but didn’t want to go through the hell of the paperwork to get rights and do all the right and proper legal actions necessary not to violate someone else’s rights.   My mind immediately went to the idea of random music.

I really thought there would be a ton of music projects where you can feed an image or sample sound or something into the program and have it generate sound from it.  Sadly, finding those programs was incredibly difficult, but I did come across three fascinating web based music programs that I thought I’d share.


The first is called Rhythm Chimes and I found it on Deviant Art.   There is no user interface, you get what you get.  Visit the site, turn on your speakers and listen to the chimes.  Yes, you could just get a set of windchimes and get almost the same effect, but this is digital! And not reliant upon wind.  I did leave this run for roughly fifteen minutes.  At about the five minute mark I was getting annoyed, but then I mellowed on it.  This wasn’t suitable for my purpose, but I liked it.


Punk-o-Matic was the most surprising and fun random music generator I found.  Random punk music with a really easy user interface.  Sure, there is the Random button so you don’t have to think.

This creates some really rocking noise.  My one regret is it generates such short songs… not even really songs, just snippets.  Yet it does it so well.   The site also has a fun little Flash cartoon called Dude!! which I laughed and laughed at due to its absurdity.


The most complex random music generator was GROTRIAN Pianos.  The interface for this generator are little boxes that have assigned sounds that you set loose on the screen.  Everytime the box hits the edge of the screen or another box, it triggers its sound.  There are four demo songs provided and show just how complex it the songs can get.

The controls are in German but really, they are fairly easy to figure out, and if you aren’t willing to flip switches just to see what might happen then maybe you aren’t that comfortable enough with the concept of random to be playing around with these web apps.

Published by Sean D. Francis

Sean D. Francis is a technologist, writer, and geek. He podcasts, makes video, and dabbles in all the geeky genres including horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.