Redirecting to Antescofo's new home

Anticipatory Score Following

by Arshia Cont, IMTR Team, Ircam--Centre Pompidou, and collaborators.




Antescofo~ is a modular polyphonic Score Following system as well as a Synchronous Programming language for musical composition. The module allows for automatic recognition of music score position and tempo from a realtime audio Stream coming from performer(s), making it possible to synchronize an instrumental performance with computer realized elements. The synchronous language within Antescofo allows flexible writing of time and interaction in computer music.

Antescofo started out in close collaboration with the composer Marco Stroppa. Antescofo intends to expand the paradigm of synchronization and score following and tends towards a tool for writing of time and interaction in computer music, for both composition and performance. Therefore, it will evolve continually.

Antescofo has been developed as an external module for Max/MSP and PureData programming environments. Antescofo is distributed at IRCAM Forum since November 2009.

Researchers willing to pursue experimental works should contact the author.



MIDI Convertor

Serge Lemouton has written a Java application for converting MIDI scores to Antescofo format. It is partly based on original by Robert Macrae. Available options are:

  • Quarter tone capability (for Finale exported files)
  • Follow All Channels : if you chose this option all the channels will be followed by antescofo. If not (by default), only midi channel 1 is considered, the other channel are written as GFWD.
  • MIDI channel to follow: To change the followed (lead) channel
  • Note: MIDI does not represent neither TRILLs nor glissandi and might sometime destroy timings! Be aware of that... .

Language Module

Gilbert Nouno has developed a BBEdit and TextWrangler style file (OSX only) for Antescofo text scores (highlighting and coloring syntaxes while editing).

  • Unzip in ~/Library/Application Support/[BBEDIT or TextWrangler]/Language Modules/.


NoteAbility is a graphical score editing tools developed by Keith Hammel. Since early 2008, NoteAbility Pro has an export function specific to Antescofo and can communicate live with Max or Pd versions of Antescofo to synchronize the score location on NoteAbility's score window (using a network connection). See notes in the distribution of both Antescofo and NoteAbility. Besides graphical score editing, NoteAbility can import/export many common score formats such as MIDI, MusicXML, Guido etc.

This feature is currently being enhanced.

Further Reading

Arshia Cont, A coupled duration-focused architecture for realtime music to score alignment. IEEE Transaction on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. Vol. 32(6), Pp. 974-987, June 2010. (preprint) (bibtex)

Arshia Cont. Ā«ANTESCOFO: Anticipatory Synchronization and Control of Interactive Parameters in Computer Music", Proceedings of International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), August 2008, Belfast, Ireland.

  • See also the ICMC2008 presentation in pdf format or quicktime format.

Arshia Cont. Modeling Musical Anticipation: From the time of music to the music of time. Arshia Cont. PhD thesis, University of Paris 6 and University of California in San Diego, October 2008. (Chapters 7 & 8)


Antescofo is particularly grateful to composer Marco Stroppa, the main motivation behind its existence and his continuous and generous intellectual support. Since 2007, many composers and computer musicians have joined the active camp to whom Antescofo is always merciful: Pierre Boulez, Philippe Manoury, Gilbert Nouno, Serge Lemouton, Larry Nelson, and yet more to come!

Antescofo proudly uses and supports Flext: the C++ layer for MaxMSP and Pd externals.

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