MMJ4M 09: Tools for Music Theory Concepts

Chapter 09 of VJ Manzo‘s book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music is about “Tools for Music Theory Concepts.” This generally refers to patches that are able to create chord progressions by reading user input and that are able to perform a variation of scale analysis. For me, I think that there are two particularly important applications of these kinds of patches and programs:

  1. Creating interactive dance performances where dancers are able to use gestural controls to create and modify music (which is a big part of my Dance Loops project at Utah Valley University)
  2. Elaborate versions of live looping, which is something I learned about originally from cellist  Zoë Keating, although I have since found many other people who do it; the big difference is that I play a one-note-at-a-time instrument – an alto saxophone – and these kinds of patches would make it much easier for me to create harmonies and chords, I think

Anyhow, those are the big ideas for now.


  • Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 09: Tools for Music Theory Concepts (10 exercises)
  • Jitter patches can be downloaded from (Dead Link)
  • UPDATED LINK: Patches can now be downloaded from
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