Networked_Music_Review

P22 Music Text Composition Generator

p22.jpgThe P22 Music Text Composition Generator is a free online music utility that allows any text to be converted into a musical composition. This composition is displayed in musical notation and simultaneously generated as a midi file.

The P22 Music Composition Font was proposed in 1997 to the John Cage Trust as an accompaniment to the John Cage text font based on the handwriting of the composer. The idea was basic and simple-every letter of the alphabet was assigned to a note on a scale. This would allow for any text to be converted into musical notation. The idea was rejected by the John Cage Trust, however the John Cage Silence font based on his famous 4’33” composition was accepted and continues to be offered for sale to this day.

An earlier project based on the work of Marcel Duchamp was also influential in the evolution of this project. This page and
current project has no affiliation with John Cage, the John Cage Trust or the Marcel Duchamp estate.

Thanks to NetBehavior Digest, Vol 193, Issue 2.


Feb 2, 2009
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One Response

  1. Website Development:

    Brilliant idea! I tried something like this in the 1970s, by hand rather than in a computer program, by using the text of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story ‘The Tell-tale Heart’, and transcribing it into musical notation. My ideas was that everything in the text, including not only the letters, but capitalisation, numbers of letters in a word, the spaces between words, punctuation, etc. should all have a musical correlate. I’m glad that the idea has not entirely been lost in the mists of time.


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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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