A Synchronous Embedding of Antescofo,

a Domain-Specific Language for Interactive Mixed Music

G. Baudart, F. Jacquemard, L. Mandel, M. Pouzet


Antescofo is recently developed software for musical score following and mixed music: it automatically, and in real-time, synchronizes electronic instruments with a musician playing on a classical instrument. Therefore, it faces some of the same major challenges as embedded systems.

The system provides a programming language used by composers to specify musical pieces that mix interacting electronic and classical instruments. This language is developed with and for musicians and it continues to evolve according to their needs. Yet its semantics has only recently been formally defined. This paper presents a synchronous semantics for the core language of Antescofo and an alternative implementation based on an embedding inside an existing synchronous language, namely ReactiveML. The semantics reduces to a few rules, is mathematically precise and leads to an interpretor of only a few hundred lines. The efficiency of this interpretor compares well with that of the actual implementation: on all musical pieces we have tested, response times have been less than the reaction time of the human ear. Moreover, this embedding permitted the prototyping of several new programming constructs, some of which are described in this paper.