Welcome to the Modular Music & Pattern Language System!
The system is developed by Raphael Mak as part of his master thesis in music composition at the University of Gothenburg. Since then, the process has been constantly improved and updated.
- Groups of 3-5 people
- Tables and chairs
- Paper and pens
- The Pattern Book (online Wiki, or contact us to purchase a physical copy)
- Pattern Book stickers (contact us to purchase)
- Musical instruments (optional)
Pick a few patterns from Categories A and B into your basket of patterns. This basket forms your starting position from which you will choose more.
Read the description of the patterns on the Music Patterns Wiki. It tells you what the pattern means and how to use them.
3. Start building
With the patterns you already have, you can start sketching some modules of your music. Each module contains a certain musical idea that you’ll develop later. Draw them as boxes or even build with physical objects like Lego blocks.
4. Pick more
At the bottom of each pattern page, you’ll find a section with Related Patterns. Explore these patterns freely across all categories and add them to your basket as you see fit. Continue developing your modules.
5. Write & complete
Continue sketching your work with the basket of patterns as guidance. Choose the most suitable way to notate your music; it doesn’t have to be a 5-lined staff, but can be anything graphical, just words, or even a 3D model using materials at hand (like Lego blocks).
6. Perform/ Record
Once you’ve finalised your score, use the instruments you have with you to perform in front of everyone else. Record it! Document your wonderful work with your score, recordings, and photos taken during the workshop.
The Pattern Categories
Learn more about the patterns at the Pattern Language Wiki.
Music Patterns in Action
The modular system was used in Raphael Mak’s work RGB (2018), which allows considerable flexibility in performance and interpretation.
The process was showcased at Ung Nordisk Musik (UNM) 2021, a festival that celebrates music and sonic art of Nordic musicians under 30.