Generating music from flocking dynamics

Cristian Huepe*, Rodrigo F. Cadiz, Marco Colasso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


We explore different approaches for generating music from the flocking dynamics of groups of mobile autonomous agents following a simple decentralized control rule. By developing software that links these dynamics to a set of sound wave generators, we study how each approach reflects sonically the transition to collective order and which produces musically interesting results. We consider three qualitatively different ways of translating flocking dynamics into music: (1) A direct approach that maps agent positions to sounds, (2) a synchronization approach where each agent carries an oscillator that couples to neighboring agents, and (3) a physics-inspired approach that mimics the sound that would result from an effective friction between neighboring agents. We find that all approaches allow the listener to discriminate between different phases in the system, but that the second and third can yield more musically interesting and appealing results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 American Control Conference, ACC 2012
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781457710957
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 American Control Conference, ACC 2012 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Jun 27 2012Jun 29 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2012 American Control Conference, ACC 2012
CityMontreal, QC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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