1st International Symposium on Quantum Computing and Musical Creativity

Nov 19-20, 2021


Online Event


1st International Symposium on Quantum Computing and Musical Creativity

Quantum computing is a nascent technology, which is advancing rapidly.

There is a long history of research into using computers for music since the 1950s. Nowadays computers are essential for the music economy. Therefore, it is very likely that quantum computers will impact the music industry in the time to come. A new area of research and development is emerging: Quantum Computer Music.

This first-ever quantum computer music symposium focuses on quantum computing for musical creativity. It takes place in the context of the QuTune Project, and is organised by University of Plymouth’s ICCMR in collaboration with Cambridge Quantum and IBM Quantum. In addition to creating resources for quantum computer music, QuTune is aimed at fostering a quantum-ready music tech community of early adopters.

The programme comprises talks about the resources being developed by the QuTune team, invited presenters and presentations submitted by the research community. It offers a hands-on introduction to programming quantum computers for musicians and enthusiasts, and practical demonstrations. We welcome proposals for presentations (see How to participate below).

The symposium will take place online and attendance is free of charge. Places are limited, registration is required (closed).

Organising Team

How to participate

The target audience for this symposium is musicians interested in reflecting on and experimenting with quantum computers for musical composition and/or performance. Quantum computing developers and researchers interested in music are welcome.

A background in computer music and/or music technology is recommended in order to follow the presentations. Previous experience with computer programming, in particular Python, is also recommended to benefit from the tutorial. Familiarity with quantum computing is not mandatory, but would be advantageous. (Here is a good place to start. A good popular science explanation with a short video is here).

We are very keen to welcome those who already have been working with quantum computer music to present their work. We are planning to publish a selection of papers as a special issue of Contemporary Music Journal.

NOTE: The deadline to submit papers for presentation expired on 03 September 2021.

In the meantime, for more information:


Note: Times in GMT (London, UK time zone) (see in your own time zone)

See here the [complete recordings playlist]

DAY 1: 19 Nov 2021

09:30 - 9:50: Welcome and Introduction to QuTune Project

Tutorial I (10:00 - 12:00) [playlist]

10:00 - 12:00: Intro to Quantum Computer Music – Part 1 [recording]

Research Papers Session I (13:00 – 15:00) [playlist]

13:00 – 13:30: Conceptualizing Quantum Music [recording]

13:30 – 14:00: Composing with Quantum Walks and the Basak-Miranda Algorithm [recording]

14:00 – 14:30: Quantum of Sound, the Sound of Quanta [recording]

14:30 – 15:00: A Quantum Natural Language Processing Approach to Musical Intelligence [recording]

Research Papers Session II (15:30 – 18:00) [playlist]

15:30 – 16:00: Making Music Using Two Quantum Algorithms [recording]

16:00 – 16:30: Playing Superconductive Qubits as Musical Synthesizers for Live Performance [recording]

16:30 – 17:00: Exploring the Application of Gate-type Quantum Computational Algorithm for Music Creation and Performance

17:00 – 17:30: Quantum Cellular Automata Music [recording]

17:30 – 18:00: QuiKo: Quantum Beat Generation [recording]

Musical Demonstrations (18:30 - 19:30) [playlist]

18:30 – 18:50: Zeno [recording]

Composed in 2019, Zeno is a piece for bass clarinet and electronic sounds, composed for clarinetist Sara Watts. During the performance, the system listens to the bass clarinet and generates responses on the fly. The composer will introduce the piece, the quantum software and inspiration, and will play excerpts recorded from the premiere, which took place at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool, UK.

18:50 – 19:10: Second Cornerstone [recording]

Composed in 2020, Second Cornerstone is a piece for kamâncheh (an Iranian bowed string instrument) and music stands, performed by Niloufar Shiri and Omar Costa Hamido. The composer will introduce the piece, the quantum software and inspiration, and will play the recording from The Gedanken Room, shot in Irvine, USA, and premiered in 2021.

19:10 – 19:30: Quantum Sound: A Live Performance of Superconducting Instruments [recording]

Composition performed live from Yale’s Quantum Labs at the Becton Center in New Haven USA. A short introduction to the piece will be given before the performance. (See also Research Papers Session II)

DAY 2: 20 Nov 2021

Tutorial II (09:00 - 10:30) [playlist]

09:00 - 10:30: Intro to Quantum Computer Music – Part 2 [recording]

Research Papers Session III (11:00 – 12:00) [playlist]

11:00 – 11:30: Quantum Audio Representations [recording]

11:30 – 12:00: Quantum Frequency Detector for Audio Files [recording]

Research Papers Session IV (13:00 - 14:30) [playlist]

13:00 – 13:30: Photonic Sound Synthesis [recording]

13:30 – 14:00: Applications of Quantum Annealing to Music Theory [recording]

14:00 – 14:30: Quantum Adiabatic Computing and Applications to Music [recording]

QuTune Brainstorming Session (15:00 - 18:00)

Working groups by invitation only

Demonstration (18:30 – 19:30) [playlist]

18:30 – 19:30: Software - Quantum Music Playground [recording]

Announcements and Goodbye (19:30 - 19:45)