Algorithms write songs in the styles of the greats


They took the credit for your Second Symphony!


Algorithmic music has been around since at least John Cage, and in fact Mozart played the game himself.

Not terrible, not great. Sounds like something that might come out of a 1st year counterpoint class. Seems fairly competent, but is also clunky and soulless, especially the last third (in the Bach). It sounds like the composer was working off a list of rules, and consulting canonical examples, but without meaningful inspiration or love for the medium.

After looking at some of the bot’s other work, I’d say it simply can’t handle styles with a strong intuitive or improvisational component. Its romantic piano is absolutely horrible. It is reasonably clear which styles it’s trying to emulate, but by use of stereotypes more than anything.

Would you think all of that if you hadn’t been told it was from a computer? I respect your opinion, I just want to borrow you for a double blind study. Just as soon as I write a grant to pay you handsomely to analyze the music and get this study past the ethics board.

It’s hard to say. I don’t think I could be certain it was computer-generated. But I also couldn’t be fooled into thinking it was a previously-unknown Bach composition. I’m pretty sure I’d label it as written by an inferior contemporary or a student.

In an effort to be fair, I admit I’ve hated some unfamiliar works by legit famous composers because when someone played them for me, they didn’t realize it was a MIDI track. I enjoyed them much more after finding a recording of a human performance. But with those, I started by listening to the overall effect. Knowing about the origin of the works from the article, though, I fully expected a mechanical source (MIDI or similar), so I was only listening for the composition.

I’m not a music scholar, btw. I just took piano lessons along with the accompanying theory work at the higher grades. Otherwise, I had a couple music major friends in uni, and classical music holds a share of my listening habits. If you want proper formal analysis, you’re better off looking elsewhere. Don’t let that stop you from sending me some cash, though :smile:

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