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Composing Music with Computers by Eduardo Miranda

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Appendix 4: A primer in Lisp programming

Lisp presents itself to the user as an interpreter; it works both as a programming language and as an interactive system: it waits for some input or command from the user, executes it, and waits again for further input. Lisp is an acronym for List Processor; almost everything in the Lisp world is a list. In programming terms, a list is a set of elements enclosed between parentheses, separated by spaces. The elements of a list can be numbers, symbols, other lists, and indeed, programs. Examples of lists are:

(the number of the beast)(1 2 3 5 8 13)(0.666 (21 xyz) abc)(defun plus (a b) (+ a b))

Lisp is excellent at manipulating lists; there are functions that can do almost any operation you can possibly imagine ...

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