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sto·chas·tic / stəˈkastik/ • adj. randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely. DERIVATIVES: sto·chas·ti·cal·ly / -ik(ə)lē/ adv.

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stochastic (from Gr., ‘point of aim’ or ‘target’). Term first used by Swiss 18th-cent. mathematician Bernoulli regarding mathematical laws of probability. Applied by Xenakis to mus. procedures whereby overall sound contours are determined but inner details are left to chance or worked out mathematically by composer or by computer, i.e. chance in stochastic works is restricted to the comp. process, the result being fully notated for the performer.