Recent technological developments and the increasing impact of the media mean that listening to music and creative music making constitutes a major and integrated part of many young people's lives.
The aim of the present article is to describe the process of computer-based composition, and how this is perceived by young composers. This paper describes a three-year empirical study of 129 computer-based compositions by 15 to 16-year-olds. Computer MIDI-fti.es were system- atically collected covering the sequence of the creation processes step by step; interviews were carried out with each of the participants; and observations were made of their work.
All the participants succeeded in creating music, and in the subsequent analysis, six qualitatively different ways of creating music were identified which could be divided into two main categories: HORIZONTAL and VERTICAL. These categories, devised by the authors in this context, refer to compositional strategies, not to structures in the music itself. In the horizontal categories composition and arranging are separate processes, whereas in the vertical categories composition and arranging are one integrated process.