A Sequencer Repertoire

A friend on discord posted a picture of sheet music to Hania Rani’s Glass and commented that it seemed easier for simple sequencers than a human to nail the 3 vs 4 polymeter.

That got me wondering: what repertoire could I learn for sequencers? Are there any pieces that play to the strengths of sequencers that different artists could recognizably interpret on their different models of sequencers but still be the same piece of music?

What affordances does a “sequencer” suitable for repertory work offer? Maybe the ability to specify notes and/or gates/triggers for steps, and the ability to reset to the beginning of the sequence? The ability to perform the sequencer by changing notes or gates during a piece?

How can I interact with the body of “sequencer music”?


This is not quite an answer to your question, but I thoroughly recommend listening to Fantas Variations by Caterina Barbieri. The original, Fantas, is in many ways an exemplar of sequencer music, composed on the ER-101, I believe. The variations include versions performed on electric guitar and a small vocal group. Listening to these versions invites new perspectives on the magic of the original, bringing to light details that are not immediately apparent in the sequenced version. Listening to them is revelatory, strikingly enhancing the experience of listening to the original - at least to my ears. (Start with track 4, is my recommendation!)


(not quite on topic but) i hugely encourage people to practice playing polymeter, if it’s of interest. it will certainly require practice, but the joy it brings is worth every invested moment. and at some point it will even feel perfectly natural.


The contrast between Fantas and its variations is such a great example of how sequencer music and hand-played music play off each other!!

I have a lot to say on this topic and I’ll write more when I’m back at my computer :))

Whenever I’m playing acoustic drums I kind of try to make myself play like a drum machine, and all my intuitive live gestures come out automatically despite of that intention.

Likewise when liveprogramming a sequencer, I try to make myself play like a human, and thqt chemistry is totallt different but equally as interesting yo me.