Generative Music uses a number of rules to generate music. Over the years we've built a range of generative music technologies and related ideation apps, starting in 1990 with SSEYO Koan then on to miniMIXA in 2004. These were followed by our "Tikltool" apps that include: Liptikl, Noatikl, Mixtikl, Partikl and then a tiklmusic player called Tiklbox.
Names are great as they give an easy label to something, but they can also limit how you think about them. "Generative" is a rather dry, technical term that can mean many things. It generally refers to a method or a system using chance, not AI, to create something, such as ambient, left-field music. Athough there is great artistry in constraining such a system, for a listener there is no "meaning" in what is created. And, "meaning" is something that has preoccupied our thinking for a while.
Whilst thinking hard about these things and what our future direction was to be, we (Intermorphic) had the foresite back in 2010 to coin the term "Reflective Music" (as well as securing the domain http://reflectivemusic.com). We knew it was important for us to think more about the application and effect, rather than the underpinning technologies, so we reflected on the nature of what was created.
Words are powerful, descriptive tools in themselves and it is important to use the right words when trying to refine your thinking. So, in 2012 we coined another term "inmo" which stands for a number of things such as "in the moment", "input → music output", "intermorphic", "in motion" and many other things. This term really helped us think more clearly about what we were doing, where we wanted to head and what to call it. It was in thinking along these lines that we realised we already had the answer...
We found that using "inmo" as a term gave us a new found freedom to think again about "meaning" and how we might be able to somehow link that in to the output. So it was we decided to make user input, in the form of text, a deterministic seed for creating melodies that could be blended/wrapped with inmo music. This user content, as it is directly linked to the music created imbues the music, for a listener, with some meaning and context.
As it is personal and ideal for reflection, relaxation, thinking, mindfulness & quiet contemplation, we call the resulting music "reflective music".
You can make reflective music with Wotja, an app we first released in 2014 and have extended ever since. We will be extending it a lot in 2017.