This article makes a case for algorithmic composition as a compositional tool. The ‘hard work’ type of creativity often involves trying many different combinations and choosing one over the others. It seems natural to express this iterative task as a computer algorithm. The implementation issues can be reduced to two components: how to understand one’s own creative process well enough to reproduce it as an algorithm, and how to program a computer to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ music. The philosophical issues reduce to the question: who or what is responsible for the music produced.