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The project Polytempo researches how new technologies can stimulate new creative musical approaches. It explores technologies that facilitate the synchronisation of performers in arbitrary tempo proportions and enable composers to sketch and organize temporal polyphonies.

It is believed that the availability of new technical means leads to novel aestetic forms. Combining technological development and creative work, this projects aims for two results: (1.) the development of software tools and (2.) documentation of works realised with these tools.

Polytempo is a research project conducted at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) at the Zurich University of the Arts.


As part of this project several tools have been developed motivated by their possible artistic usability.

Technology-Assisted Conducting

In order to synchronise musicians to an electronic playback, to a film or among each other in ensemble music, a performance aid to keep the tempo is required. Instead of a click track we propose a system that uses a visual animation, whose movements resemble the gestures of a conductor. [ read more >>> ]

Synchronisable Tempo Progressions

The accurate synchronisation of independently varying yet precisely synchronised tempo progressions poses a compositional challenge. A formalism is proposed to facilitate the construction of such polytemporal counterpoints by means of a graphical solution based on BeĢzier curves. [ read more >>> ]


Composers and improvisers are encouraged to explore the potential of these technologies and tools to find novel performance paradigms in a variety of different scenarios. Several works have already been realized as part of this project. [ list of performances >>> ]


Philippe Kocher: Technology-Assisted Performance of Polytemporal Music, Proc. of the SMC (2017).

Philippe Kocher: Rethinking 'Open Form', Proc. of the Generative Art Conference (2016).

Philippe Kocher: Polytempo Composer: A Tool for the Computation of Synchronisable Tempo Progressions, Proc. of the SMC (2016).

Philippe Kocher: Polytempo Network: A System for Technology-Assisted Conducting, Proc. of the ICMC (2014).



PolytempoNetwork 0.2.1 (Aug. 2016)

PolytempoComposer 0.2.0 (Jan. 2018)



bezier-tempo.scd Supercollider function