Orchestra conductors watch out - here's a robot who can do the job


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/15/orchestra-conductors-watch-out.html


Hey man, if you’re trying to not be replaced, don’t tell the usurper exactly where their weaknesses are, that’s just coaching. Like the engineer who looks up at the sticky guillotine blade and says “oh wait, I think I see the problem!”


Will it stop the piece and call you out if you’re fucking up your part? No? Then nah, that’s not a conductor, that’s just a fancy metronome.


Was wondering the same, or when the entire horn section is just goofing off will this robot throw his music stand and storm out of the room?


The humanities keep making that mistake though. It drives me nuts.


Still can’t hit on the soloist.


On the other hand, if the robot conductor can shoot lasers out the back of its head at people who are being noisy or using their cellphone, I might be all for it.


Well, it’s safe to assume people only do the work I see them do, right? Just like teachers only work nine months, off for three.

I’ve never seen a CEO do anything.


Okay, that’s funny! But I don’t think the analogy holds for human vs robot conductors. Music notation alone can’t cover everything. For example, if the notation indicates “con moto” (in a spirited manner, or, with movement), would a robot be able to direct the orchestra in a way that yields a ‘successful’ result? Not only that, many times conductors research a composer’s works in general AND the life of that composer (think Mahler and his difficult, tragic personal life, for instance) in order to provide clues as to how their works ‘should’ be interpreted. As @Neovison.vison said, a conductor is not just a fancy metronome (otherwise, I wouldn’t have one, particular, always preferred, favorite reading of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ out of the four I own).


Model R-001-V says, “au contraire”:


If only they could be more respectful like audiences in the good old days. /s

Puh-leeze, metronomes can keep regular time.


Look up ‘concert riots’ on wiki.


Not unless his hand vibrates.


That’s why I gave it a sarcasm tag.


I know!



The demonstration ignores the fact you alluded to, that most of the conductor’s work takes place in the weeks and months before the performance, and most of it is more subtle than most people realize. I remember my conductor working for ten minutes with the flute, clarinet and oboe to get one note balanced just right.

And seriously, the robot’s baton technique sucks.


Seriously, what’s with that massive loop of a cutoff? The robot also seems to have no facility to follow a singer.


I’ve seen better non-human conducting.


Still. The weaknesses are that it’s a robot.


Better yet, replace the audience with robots.