Music and artificial intelligence

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Research in artificial intelligence (AI) is known to have impacted medical diagnosis, stock trading, robot control, and several other fields. Perhaps less popular is the contribution of AI in the field of music. Nevertheless, artificial intelligence and music (AIM) has, for a long time, been a common subject in several conferences and workshops, including the International Computer Music Conference, the Computing Society Conference[1] and the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. In fact, the first International Computer Music Conference was the ICMC 1974, Michigan State University, East Lansing, US.[2] Current research includes the application of AI in music composition, performance, theory and digital sound processing.

Several music software programs have been developed that use AI to produce music.[3] Like its applications in other fields, the A.I. in this case also simulates mental tasks. A prominent feature is the capability of the A.I. algorithm to learn based on information obtained such as the computer accompaniment technology, which is capable of listening to and following a human performer so it can perform in synchrony.[4] Artificial intelligence also drives the so-called interactive composition technology, wherein a computer composes music in response to the performance of a live musician. There are several other A.I. applications to music that covers not only music composition, production, and performance but also the way it is marketed and consumed. Apart from programs that use AI to produce music, several music player programs have been developed to use voice recognition and natural language processing technology for music voice control.


In 1960, Russian researcher R. Kh. Zaripov published worldwide first paper on algorithmic music composing using the "Ural-1" computer.[5]

In 1965, inventor Ray Kurzweil premiered a piano piece created by a computer that was capable of pattern recognition in various compositions. The computer was then able to analyze and use these patterns to create novel melodies. The computer was debuted on Steve Allen's I've Got a Secret program, and stumped the hosts until film star Henry Morgan guessed Ray's secret.[6]

In 1997, an artificial intelligence program called Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI) appeared to outperform a human composer at the task of composing a piece of music imitating the style of Bach.[7]

Software applications[edit]

Interactive scores[edit]

Multimedia Scenarios in interactive scores are represented by temporal objects, temporal relations and interactive objects. Examples of temporal objects are sounds, videos and light controls. Temporal objects can be triggered by interactive objects (usually launched by the user) and several temporal objects can be executed simultaneously. A temporal object may contain other temporal objects: this hierarchy allows us to control the start or end of a temporal object by controlling the start or end of its parent. Hierarchy is ever-present in all kinds of music: Music pieces are often hierarchized by movements, parts, motives, measures, among other segmentations.[8][9]

Computer Accompaniment (Carnegie Mellon University)[edit]

The Computer Music Project at CMU develops computer music and interactive performance technology to enhance human musical experience and creativity. This interdisciplinary effort draws on Music Theory, Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Human Computer Interaction, Real-Time Systems, Computer Graphics and Animation, Multimedia, Programming Languages, and Signal Processing.[10]


Developed at Princeton University by Ge Wang and Perry Cook, ChucK is a text-based, cross-platform language that allows real-time synthesis, composition, performance and analysis of music.[11] It is used by SLOrk (Stanford Laptop Orchestra)[12] and PLOrk (Princeton Laptop Orchestra).


MorpheuS[13] is a research project by Dorien Herremans and Elaine Chew at Queen Mary University of London, funded by a Marie Skłodowská-Curie EU project. The system uses an optimization approach based on a variable neighborhood search algorithm to morph existing template pieces into novel pieces with a set level of tonal tension that changes dynamically throughout the piece. This optimization approach allows for the integration of a pattern detection technique in order to enforce long term structure and recurring themes in the generated music. Pieces composed by MorpheuS have been performed at concerts in both Stanford and London.


Created in February 2016, in Luxembourg, AIVA is program that produces soundtracks for any type of media. The algorithms behind AIVA are based on deep learning architectures[14] AIVA has also been used to compose a Rock track called On the Edge,[15] as well as a pop tune Love Sick[16] in collaboration with singer Taryn Southern,[17] for the creation of her 2018 album "I am AI".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ INFORMS Computing Society Conference: Annapolis: Music, Computation and AI Archived 2012-06-30 at Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
  2. ^ International Computer Music Association - ICMC. (2010-11-15). Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
  3. ^ D. Herremans, C.H., Chuan, E. Chew (2017). "A Functional Taxonomy of Music Generation Systems". ACM Computing Surveys. 50 (5): 69:1–30. arXiv:1812.04832. doi:10.1109/TAFFC.2017.2737984.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Dannenberg, Roger. "Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Music Understanding" (PDF). Semantic Scholar. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Zaripov, R.Kh. (1960). "Об алгоритмическом описании процесса сочинения музыки (On algorithmic description of process of music composition)". Proceedings of the USSR Academy of Sciences. 132 (6).
  6. ^ "About Ray Kurzweil".
  7. ^ Johnson, George (11 November 1997). "Undiscovered Bach? No, a Computer Wrote It". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 April 2020. Dr. Larson was hurt when the audience concluded that his piece -- a simple, engaging form called a two-part invention -- was written by the computer. But he felt somewhat mollified when the listeners went on to decide that the invention composed by EMI (pronounced Emmy) was genuine Bach.
  8. ^ Mauricio Toro, Myriam Desainte-Catherine, Camilo Rueda. Formal semantics for interactive music scores: a framework to design, specify properties and execute interactive scenarios. Journal of Mathematics and Music 8 (1)
  9. ^ "Open Software System for Interactive Applications". Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  10. ^ Computer Music Group. Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
  11. ^ ChucK => Strongly-timed, On-the-fly Audio Programming Language. Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
  12. ^ Driver, Dustin. (1999-03-26) Pro - Profiles - Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk), pg. 1. Apple. Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
  13. ^ D. Herremans, E. Chew (2016). "MorpheuS: Automatic music generation with recurrent pattern constraints and tension profiles". IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. PP(1). arXiv:1812.04832. doi:10.1109/TAFFC.2017.2737984.
  14. ^ [1]. AIVA 2016
  15. ^ [2] AI-generated Rock Music: the Making Of
  16. ^ [3] Love Sick | Composed with Artificial Intelligence - Official Video with Lyrics | Taryn Southern
  17. ^ [4] Algo-Rhythms: the future of album collaboration

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]