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Music and Software Development

It looks like there's a relation between application developers and classical music composers :-)
I've haven't any info to tie up both, but after listening to some of my old favorites, it's becoming clearer.

  • Many composers have had compositions that resembles the number of decently developed apps in ones life.
  • A musical composition resembles a software project with a team of one developer (with all its inspiration, enthusiasm, knowledge journey, agony and rewards).
  • Looks like the number of paths a composer can take is similar to the numerous decisions a developer usually faces.
  • Developers loves music with its patterns and resemblance to mathematics

I now fully agree, as one of my professors (and must be many others) said – software development is the closest you can get to artistic creations

Posted in General.

5 Responses

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  1. David Hall says

    I’ve always bought into this observation — of course, that could be because I studied Music Composition before going technical.

  2. Rob Sanheim says

    Software development _is_ artistic creation. It can encompass elements of craft, art, and engineering, which is what makes it so fascinating (and so difficult, I suppose).

  3. John Long says

    I’ve noticed this same correlation for a while. There is definitely an overlap of musicians and software engineers. I write applications now and was a Performance Major in college, and have seen many others with musical talent among the technical. I think the combination of creativity within sometimes rigid rules is the uniting factor.

  4. Karim Ratib says

    Being a wanna-be jazz guitarist and a full-time software builder, I agree wholeheartedly, if only because I get my kicks from both – and I always feel drawn towards combining them somehow. My best friends are all in the same position, sharing a love for music and software.

    But what can be said concretely of the similarities between software and music creation? I would say that the manipulation of organized structures to express an intent figures somewhere in there. Of course this similarity is so abstract that it is true of many other activities, like architecture for example – which has also drawn many comparisons with software building.

    Related links:
    * Computer Music Journal, music for geeks (
    * IRCAM, a French research lab focusing on music as a science and founded by contemporary composer Pierre Boulez (

Continuing the Discussion

  1. The Finishing Touches - The Learning Journey linked to this post on March 11, 2009

    […] won’t delve into how developers are close to composers, or increment vs iterate, but from the outskirts, even a simple feature delivery IS a work of […]

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