Generative Music Generator in Memory of Anton Webern
© 2005-2015 by Karlheinz Essl

Apple Software   vs. 3.2     NEW
released: 18 Aug 2015

With authentic bell sounds from the Belfry Carillon (Ghent, Belgium)!

Like all of Karlheinz's shareware, this is extraordinary. Weird interface, strange nomenclature and completely original. On the web radio station I will someday open (www.robotradio.net) this music and the other Essl soundscapes will be the signature sound. Don't put radio on computers -- put the computers on the radio!

MacMusic - 6 Sep 2006 -

Sounds | Download | World-Wide Webern | License | Reviews

For Whom the Bell Tolls

On September 15th, 1945 the Austrian composer Anton Webern was accidentially shot dead by an American GI in Mittersill, Salzburg where Webern had escaped from the Russian invasion.

WebernUhrWerk (translated: Webern's Clockwork) was composed as an open-air sound installation for the 60th anniversary of Webern's death which took place on 15 September 2005 on the market place at Mittersill. A loudspeaker placed into the open roof window of the city hall was connected to the audio output of this program. Every quarter of an hour, a short musical phrase with a Carillon sound was played which could be heard all over the city - like the sounds of bells ringing every 15 minutes.

Demo recording of WebernUhrWerk
© 2015 by Karlheinz Essl

For those having troubles to run the my computer program „WebernUhrWerk”, I have created a really long recording that you can use on any computer. Just start it at the beginning of a full hour and let it run. When finished, you can repeat the piece as long as you like. Be aware that the piece consists mostly of silence! You will hear a short Carillon phrase exactly every 15 minutes - just like a church bell. If you wish, you can also download the file in order to play it from your mobile device.

5 hour recording of WebernUhrWerk

Compositional Aspects

This realtime composition is based on the twelve-tone row of Anton Webern's last opus which he started in Mittersill and which he was unable to finish due to his unexpected death:

Twelve-tone row of Anton Webern's unfinished op. 32

12-tone row of Webern's unfinished op. 32

This series serves as the basic material for a composition algorithm that generates music in real time which never repeats itself. The row is subjected to an algorithm that uses the structure of the series as its own permutation program. The pitch classes are then mapped onto fixed registers of which 6 different models are existing - minor seconds, major seconds, minor thirds, major thirds, a combination of minor and major seconds and finally a sort of all-interval row. Each model is represented by a twelve-tone chord where each pitch class occurs in a fixed register.

For each quarter of an hour, four individual compositional models have been created. Although their outlines are defined, infinite variants are obtained by utilizing random procedures and aleatoric methods for constructing the rhythmic structure.

Programming Aspects

WebernUhrWerk is written in MaxMSP using my Real Time Composition Library (RTC-lib), a collection of compositional algorithms and tools which I have been developing since 1992. The programming structure of "WebernUhrWerk" is completely transparent - if you double-click one of the grey boxes, its hidden content would show in a new window. If you are experienced in Max or Pd you can easily understand how the program function.

User interface of WebernUhrwerk 3.2

WebernUhrWerk 3.2: graphical user interface
© 2015 by Karlheinz Essl

System Requirements



The work provided here for download is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the following conditions:

Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

Freeware Notice

WebernUhrWerk is computer program by Karlheinz Essl which is released *as it is*. It is distributed as freeware and protected by copyright. As far as the entire content of the original distribution is not changed and no money is charged, this program may be spread freely and can also be included in CD-ROMs and Internet archives.


MacOSX   WebernUhrWerk 3.2 - for Mac0S 10.6 or higher    NEW
released 18 Aug 2015: ZIP archive (29.2 MB) - with real Carillon sounds!

MacOSX   WebernUhrWerk 2.3 UB - for MacOS 10.4 or higher (PPC and Intel)
released 12 Jan 2011: ZIP archive (7.8 MB) - with Quicktime sounds

Windows XP   WebernUhrWerk 2.1 beta - for Windows XP
released 10 Sep 2006: zip archive (2.1 MB)
compiled for Windows XP / Windows 2000 by Nesa Popov

More music software by Karlheinz Essl

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REplay PLAYer is a computer program that de-constructs a given sound file and re-composes it by using realtime composition algorithms. It can be used as a tool to generate an infinite and every-changing sonic stream from a single sound file for artistic, compositional or mere recreational purposes. It can also be regarded as a computer based instrument for live performances, as an interactive sound installation or a generator for ambient music.

  fLOW fLOW (© 1998-2013)
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fLOW is an audio computer program running on Apple Macintosh machines. It generates an ever-changing and never repeating soundscape in real time that fills the space with flooding sounds that resemble - metaphorically - the timbres of water, fire, earth, and air. This ambient sound scape generator adjusts itself through various parameters and controllers that are represented in real time on your screen.

And even more...

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Updated: 25 Aug 2015