Build and Create

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.

Upcoming events

Edinburgh Fringe

August 22-28, 2022
C ARTS | C Venues | C place - studio

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The Process

  • 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)
Step 1 - Pick patterns from categories A and B

1. Pick

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.

Step 2 - Read the description of the patterns you chose

2. Read

Read the description of the patterns on the Music Patterns Wiki. It tells you what the pattern means and how to use them.

Step 3 - Start building your work

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.

Step 4 - Pick related patterns

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.

Step 5 - Complete your work

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).

Step 6 - Perform your work

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.

A. Time-space concepts

Time-space patterns define how time and space is organised in the musical work.

B. Context

Context patterns provide a contextual background to the musical work, providing a story for the music to tell.

C. Structure

Structural patterns provide guidance on how the music will be organised horizontally and vertically.

D. Material and organisation

These patterns provide you with inspiration for the musical content of the work. Pick some of these and develop your ideas.

E. Performance

Performance patterns provide guidance on how to create an interactive and engaging musical experience for your audience.

F. Marketing and dissemination

These patterns help you promote and spread your musical work further.

Music Patterns in Action



The modular system was used in Raphael Mak’s work RGB (2018), which allows considerable flexibility in performance and interpretation.

UNM 2021

The process was showcased at Ung Nordisk Musik (UNM) 2021, a festival that celebrates music and sonic art of Nordic musicians under 30.

More to come…?

Book a half-day workshop to experience the system. Connect with us to learn more.

Let's connect!

Book an introductory meeting

Learn more about the workshop and book a workshop

Book now