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date: 16 November 2019


  • Anne Beetem Acker


Non-hardware components of a system that encode instructions for producing the desired output of the system given various inputs. Hardware comprises the physical apparatus on which the software runs, as well as peripheral equipment. Different software running on the same hardware can produce different results, e.g. a violin-playing robot can become a trumpet-playing robot. Software can be tangible, such as the interchangeable piano rolls that encode performances of pieces of music for a player piano. Since the 1950s the term more commonly refers to changeable programs that run on computers and other equipment that use logic circuitry, often to control other devices. Examples from the musical instrument domain where software is integral include the digital audio workstation, multi-touch table, mobile phone, and other handheld devices, robotic instruments, and networked instruments. Compositions for instruments or controllers such as the Lady’s Glove and The Hub are ‘written’ as software programmed by the composers. The related term ‘firmware’ refers to read-only memories (ROM) with programs and data coded into them....

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