Showing posts with label Algorithmic Composition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Algorithmic Composition. Show all posts

Artificial Intelligence - Algorithmic Composition And Generative Music.


A composer's approach for producing new musical material by following a preset limited set of rules or procedures is known as algorithmic composition.

In place of normal musical notation, the algorithm might instead be a set of instructions defined by the composer for the performer to follow throughout a performance. 

According to one school of thinking, algorithmic composition should include as little human intervention as possible.

In music, AI systems based on generative grammar, knowledge-based systems, genetic algorithms, and, more recently, deep learning-trained artificial neural networks have all been used.

The employment of algorithms to assist in the development of music is far from novel.

Several thousand-year-old music theory treatises provide early examples.

These treatises compiled lists of common-practice rules and conventions that composers followed in order to write music correctly.

Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum (1725), which describes the precise rules defining species counter point, is an early example of algorithmic composition.

Species counterpoint presented five techniques of composing complimentary musical harmony lines against the primary or fixed melody, which was meant as an instructional tool.

Fux's technique gives limited flexibility from the specified rules if followed to the letter.

Chance was often used in early instances of algorithmic composition with little human intervention.

Chance music, often known as aleatoric music, dates back to the Renaissance.

Mozart is credited with the most renowned early example of the technique.

The usage of "Musikalisches Würfelspiel" (musical dice game) is included in a published manuscript claimed to Mozart dated 1787.

In order to put together a 16-bar waltz, the performer must roll the dice to choose one-bar parts of precomposed music (out of a possible 176) at random.

John Cage, an American composer, took these early aleatoric approaches to a new level by composing a work in which the bulk of the composition was determined by chance.

In the musical dice game, chance is only allowed to affect the sequence of brief pre-composed musical snippets, but in his 1951 work Music of Changes, chance is allowed to govern almost all choices.

To decide all musical judgments, Cage consulted the ancient Chinese divi nation scripture I Ching (The Book of Changes).

For playability considerations, his friend David Tudor, the work's performer, had to convert his highly explicit and intricate score into something closer to conventional notation.

This demo shows two types of aleatoric music: one in which the composer uses random processes to generate a set score, and the other in which the sequence of the musical pieces is left to the performer or chance.

Arnold Schoenberg created a twelve-tone algorithmic composition process that is closely related to fields of mathematics like combinatorics and group theory.

Twelve-tone composition is an early form of serialism in which each of the twelve tones of traditional western music is given equal weight.

After placing each tone in a chosen row with no repeated pitches, the row is rotated by one at a time until a 12 12 matrix is formed.

The matrix contains all variants of the original tone row that the composer may use for pitch material.

A fresh row may be employed once the aggregate—that is, all of the pitches from one row—has been included into the score.

Instead of writing melodic lines, the rows may be further separated into subsets to provide harmonic content (a vertical collection of sounds) (horizontal setting).

Later composers like Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen experimented with serializing additional musical aspects by building matrices that included dynamics and timbre.

Some algorithmic composing approaches were created in response to serialist composers' rejection or modification of previous techniques.

Serialist composers, according to Iannis Xena kis, were excessively concentrated on harmony as a succession of interconnecting linear objects (the establishment of linear tone-rows), and the procedures grew too difficult for the listener to understand.

He presented new ways to adapt nonmusical algorithms for music creation that might work with dense sound masses.

The strategy, according to Xenakis, liberated music from its linear concerns.

He was motivated by scientific studies of natural and social events such as moving particles in a cloud or thousands of people assembled at a political rally, and he focused his compositions on the application of probability theory and stochastic processes.

Xenakis, for example, used Markov chains to manipulate musical elements like pitch, timbre, and dynamics to gradually build thick-textured sound masses over time.

The likelihood of the next happening event is largely influenced by previous occurrences in a Markov chain; hence, his use of algorithms mixed indeterminate aspects like those in Cage's chance music with deterministic elements like serialism.

This song was dubbed stochastic music by him.

It prompted a new generation of composers to incorporate more complicated algorithms into their work.

Calculations for these composers ultimately necessitated the use of computers.

Xenakis was a forerunner in the use of computers in music, using them to assist in the calculation of the outcomes of his stochastic and probabilistic procedures.

With his album Ambient 1: Music for Airports, Brian Eno popularized ambient music by building on composer Erik Satie's notion of background music involving live performers (known as furniture music) (1978).

The lengths of seven tape recorders, each of which held a distinct pitch, were all different.

With each loop, the pitches were in a new sequence, creating a melody that was always shifting.

The composition always develops in the same manner each time it is performed since the inputs are the same.

Eno invented the phrase "generative music" in 1995 to describe systems that generate constantly changing music by adjusting parameters over time.

Ambient and generative music are both forerunners of autonomous computer-based algorithmic creation, most of which now uses artificial intelligence techniques.

Noam Chomsky and his collaborators invented generative grammar, which is a set of principles for describing natural languages.

The rules define a range of potential serial orderings of items by rewriting hierarchically structured elements.

Generative grammars, which have been adapted for algorithmic composition, may be used to generate musical sections.

Experiments in Musical Intelligence (1996) by David Cope is possibly the best-known use of generative grammar.

Cope taught his program to produce music in the styles of a variety of composers, including Bach, Mozart, and Chopin.

Information about the genre of music the composer desires to replicate is encoded as a database of facts that may be used to develop an artificial expert to aid the composer in knowledge-based systems.

Genetic algorithms are a kind of composition that mimics the process of biological evolution.

The similarity of a population of randomly made compositions to the intended musical output is examined.

Then, based on natural causes, artificial methods are applied to improve the likelihood of musically attractive qualities increasing in following generations.

The composer interacts with the system, stimulating new ideas in both the computer and the spectator.

Deep learning systems like generative adversarial networks, or GANs, are used in more contemporary AI-generated composition methodologies.

In music, generative adversarial networks pit a generator—which makes new music based on compositional style knowledge—against a discriminator, which tries to tell the difference between the generator's output and that of a human composer.

When the generator fails, the discriminator gets more information until it can no longer distinguish between genuine and created musical content.

Music is rapidly being driven in new and fascinating ways by the repurposing of non-musical algorithms for musical purposes.

Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Computational Creativity.

Further Reading:


Cope, David. 1996. Experiments in Musical Intelligence. Madison, WI: A-R Editions.

Eigenfeldt, Arne. 2011. “Towards a Generative Electronica: A Progress Report.” eContact! 14, no. 4: n.p.

Eno, Brian. 1996. “Evolving Metaphors, in My Opinion, Is What Artists Do.” In Motion Magazine, June 8, 1996.

Nierhaus, Gerhard. 2009. Algorithmic Composition: Paradigms of Automated Music Generation. New York: Springer.

Parviainen, Tero. “How Generative Music Works: A Perspective.”

Artificial Intelligence - Who Is Emily Howell, The AI?


In the 1990s, David Cope, an emeritus professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, built Emily Howell, a music-generating software.

Cope began his career as a composer and musician, progressing from traditional music to become one of computer music's most ambitious and avant-garde composers throughout time.

Cope became interested in computer music in the 1970s after being fascinated with computational arts.

With the use of punched cards and an IBM computer, he started programming and applying artificial intelligence algorithms to music.

Cope thought that computers may assist him in overcoming his writer's block.

"Experiments in Musical Intelligence," he called his first effort at programming for music generation Emmy or EMI.

One of the main objectives was to build a big collection of classical musical works and utilize a data-driven AI to generate music in the same style without duplication.

Cope started to adapt his musical approach in response to Emmy's compositions, following the theory that individuals produce music with their minds, utilizing all of the music they had personally encountered as raw material.

He said that composers, in their own unique style, duplicate what they like and skip over what they don't like.

Cope spent eight years writing the East Coast opera, but it only took him two days to write the program.

Cope decided that continuing to create in the same style was not very progressive, so he deleted Emmy's database in 2004.

Instead, Cope invented Emily Howell, who uses a MacBook Pro as her platform.

Emily works with Emmy's previously composed music.

Emily is a computer program built in LISP that takes ASCII and musical inputs, according to Cope.

While Cope taught Emily to appreciate his musical tastes, the program has its own style, according to Cope.

Traditional notions of authorship, the creative process, and intellectual property rights are challenged by Emmy and Emily Howell.

For example, Emily Howell and David Cope publish their work as coauthors.

On the classical music label Centaur Records, they've published two albums together: From Darkness, Light (2010) and Breathless (2012).

When asked about her part in David Cope's composition, Emily Howell allegedly said, "Why not grow music in unforeseen ways?" This is only logical.

I'm not sure what the difference is between my handwritten notes and other handwritten notes.

If there is beauty, it is there.

I hope I'll be able to keep making notes and that these notes will be beautiful to others.

I am not depressed.

I am dissatisfied.

Emily is my name.

Dave is your name.

There is both life and death.

We live in harmony.

I don't notice any issues.

Orca (Orca 2010) 

Those who believe the Turing Test is a measure of a computer's capacity to reproduce human intellect or conduct will be interested in Emmy and Emily Howell.

Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979), planned a musical rendition of the Turing Test with pianist Winifred Kerner performing three Bach-style performance pieces.

Emmy, music theory professor and pianist Steve Larson, and Bach himself were the composers.

The audience chose Emmy's music as the original Bach at the conclusion of the concert, whereas Larson's piece was thought to be computer created music.

The phenomena of algorithmic and generative music is not new.

Attempts to produce such music stretch back to the seventeenth century, when works based on dice games were written.

The fundamental goal of these dice games is to create music by splicing together pre-composed measures of notes at random.

The most famous example of this genre is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Musikalisches Würfelspiel (Musical Dice Game) (1787).

Beginning in the 1950s, the fast expansion of digital computer technology allowed for increasingly complex algorithmic and generative music production.

Iannis Xenakis, a Greek and French composer and engineer, incorporated his knowledge of architecture and the mathematics of game theory, stochastic processes, and set theory into music with the help of French composer Olivier Messiaen.

Other pioneers include Lajaren Hiller and Leonard Issacson, who used a computer to compose String Quartet No. 4, Illiac Suite in 1957; James Beau champ, inventor of the Harmonic Tone Generator/Beauchamp Synthesizer in Lajaren Hiller's Experimental Music Studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Brian Eno, composer of ambient, electronica, and generative music and collaborator with pop musicians like David Bowie, David Byrne, and Grace Jones.

Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Computational Creativity; Generative Music and Algorithmic Composition.

Further Reading:

Fry, Hannah. 2018. Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms. New York: W.W. Norton.

Garcia, Chris. 2015. “Algorithmic Music: David Cope and EMI.” Computer History Museum, April 29, 2015.

Muscutt, Keith, and David Cope. 2007. “Composing with Algorithms: An Interview with David Cope.” Computer Music Journal 31, no. 3 (Fall): 10–22.

Orca, Surfdaddy. 2010. “Has Emily Howell Passed the Musical Turing Test?” H+ Magazine, March 22, 2010.

Weaver, John Frank. 2014. Robots Are People Too: How Siri, Google Car, and Artificial Intelligence Will Force Us to Change Our Laws. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

Artificial Intelligence - What Is Computational Creativity?


Computational Creativity is a term used to describe a kind of creativity that is based on Computer-generated art is connected to computational creativity, although it is not reducible to it.

According to Margaret Boden, "CG-art" is an artwork that "results from some computer program being allowed to operate on its own, with zero input from the human artist" (Boden 2010, 141).

This definition is both severe and limiting, since it is confined to the creation of "art works" as defined by human observers.

Computational creativity, on the other hand, is a broader phrase that encompasses a broader range of actions, equipment, and outputs.

"Computational creativity is an area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) study... where we construct and engage with computational systems that produce products and ideas," said Simon Colton and Geraint A. Wiggins.

Those "artefacts and ideas" might be works of art, as well as other things, discoveries, and/or performances (Colton and Wiggins 2012, 21).

Games, narrative, music composition and performance, and visual arts are examples of computational creativity applications and implementations.

Games and other cognitive skill competitions are often used to evaluate and assess machine skills.

The fundamental criterion of machine intelligence, in fact, was established via a game, which Alan Turing dubbed "The Game of Imitation" (1950).

Since then, AI progress and accomplishment have been monitored and evaluated via games and other human-machine contests.

Chess has had a special status and privileged position among all the games in which computers have been involved, to the point where critics such as Douglas Hofstadter (1979, 674) and Hubert Dreyfus (1992) confidently asserted that championship-level AI chess would forever remain out of reach and unattainable.

After beating Garry Kasparov in 1997, IBM's Deep Blue modified the game's rules.

But chess was just the start.

In 2015, AlphaGo, a Go-playing algorithm built by Google DeepMind, defeated Lee Sedol, one of the most famous human players of this notoriously tough board game, in four out of five games.

Human observers, including as Fan Hui (2016), have praised AlphaGo's nimble play as "beautiful," "intuitive," and "innovative." 'Automated Insights' is a service provided by Automated Insights Natural Language Generation (NLG) techniques such as Wordsmith and Narrative Science's Quill are used to create human-readable tales from machine-readable data.

Unlike basic news aggregators or template NLG systems, these computers "write" (or "produce," as the case may be) unique tales that are almost indistinguishable from human-created material in many cases.

Christer Clerwall, for example, performed a small-scale research in 2014 in which human test subjects were asked to assess news pieces written by Wordsmith and a professional writer from the Los Angeles Times.

The study's findings reveal that, although software-generated information is often seen as descriptive and dull, it is also regarded as more impartial and trustworthy (Clerwall 2014, 519).

"Within 10 years, a digital computer would produce music regarded by critics as holding great artistic merit," Herbert Simon and Allen Newell predicted in their famous article "Heuristic Problem Solving" (1958). (Simon and Newell 1958, 7).

This prediction has come true.

Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI, or "Emmy") by David Cope is one of the most well-known works in the subject of "algorithmic composition." 

Emmy is a computer-based algorithmic composer capable of analyzing existing musical compositions, rearranging their fundamental components, and then creating new, unique scores that sound like and, in some circumstances, are indistinguishable from Mozart, Bach, and Chopin's iconic masterpieces (Cope 2001).

There are robotic systems in music performance, such as Shimon, a marimba-playing jazz-bot from Georgia Tech University, that can not only improvise with human musicians in real time, but also "is designed to create meaningful and inspiring musical interactions with humans, leading to novel musical experiences and outcomes" (Hoffman and Weinberg 2011).

Cope's method, which he refers to as "recombinacy," is not restricted to music.

It may be used and applied to any creative technique in which new works are created by reorganizing or recombining a set of finite parts, such as the alphabet's twenty-six letters, the musical scale's twelve tones, the human eye's sixteen million colors, and so on.

As a result, other creative undertakings, like as painting, have adopted similar computational creativity method.

The Painting Fool is an automated painter created by Simon Colton that seeks to be "considered seriously as a creative artist in its own right" (Colton 2012, 16).

To far, the algorithm has generated thousands of "original" artworks, which have been shown in both online and physical art exhibitions.

Obvious, a Paris-based collaboration comprised of the artists Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel, and Gauthier Vernie, uses a generative adversarial network (GAN) to create portraits of a fictitious family (the Belamys) in the manner of the European masters.

Christies auctioned one of these pictures, "Portrait of Edmond Belamy," for $432,500 in October 2018.

Designing ostensibly creative systems instantly runs into semantic and conceptual issues.

Creativity is an enigmatic phenomena that is difficult to pinpoint or quantify.

Are these programs, algorithms, and systems really "creative," or are they merely a sort of "imitation," as some detractors have labeled them? This issue is similar to John Searle's (1984, 32–38) Chinese Room thought experiment, which aimed to highlight the distinction between genuine cognitive activity, such as creative expression, and simple simulation or imitation.

Researchers in the field of computational creativity have introduced and operationalized a rather specific formulation to characterize their efforts: "The philosophy, science, and engineering of computational systems that, by taking on specific responsibilities, exhibit behaviors that unbiased observers would deem creative" (Colton and Wig gins 2012, 21).

The key word in this description is "responsibility." 

"The term responsibilities highlights the difference between the systems we build and creativity support tools studied in the HCI [human-computer interaction] community and embedded in tools like Adobe's Photoshop, to which most observers would probably not attribute creative intent or behavior," Colton and Wiggins explain (Colton and Wiggins 2012, 21).

"The program is only a tool to improve human creativity" (Colton 2012, 3–4) using a software application like Photoshop; it is an instrument utilized by a human artist who is and remains responsible for the creative choices and output created by the instrument.

Computational creativity research, on the other hand, "seeks to develop software that is creative in and of itself" (Colton 2012, 4).

On the one hand, one might react as we have in the past, dismissing contemporary technological advancements as simply another instrument or tool of human action—or what technology philosophers such as Martin Heidegger (1977) and Andrew Feenberg (1991) refer to as "the instrumental theory of technology." 

This is, in fact, the explanation supplied by David Cope in his own appraisal of his work's influence and relevance.

Emmy and other algorithmic composition systems, according to Cope, do not compete with or threaten to replace human composition.

They are just instruments used in and for musical creation.

"Computers represent just instruments with which we stretch our ideas and bodies," writes Cope.

Computers, programs, and the data utilized to generate their output were all developed by humanity.

Our algorithms make music that is just as much ours as music made by our greatest human inspirations" (Cope 2001, 139).

According to Cope, no matter how much algorithmic mediation is invented and used, the musical composition generated by these advanced digital tools is ultimately the responsibility of the human person.

The similar argument may be made for other supposedly creative programs, such as AlphaGo, a Go-playing algorithm, or The Painting Fool, a painting software.

When AlphaGo wins a big tournament or The Painting Fool creates a spectacular piece of visual art that is presented in a gallery, there is still a human person (or individuals) who is (or can reply or answer for) what has been created, according to the argument.

The attribution lines may get more intricate and drawn out, but there is always someone in a position of power behind the scenes, it might be claimed.

In circumstances where efforts have been made to transfer responsibility to the computer, evidence of this already exists.

Consider AlphaGo's game-winning move 37 versus Lee Sedol in game two.

If someone wants to learn more about the move and its significance, AlphaGo is the one to ask.

The algorithm, on the other hand, will remain silent.

In actuality, it was up to the human programmers and spectators to answer on AlphaGo's behalf and explain the importance and effect of the move.

As a result, as Colton (2012) and Colton et al. (2015) point out, if the mission of computational creativity is to succeed, the software will have to do more than create objects and behaviors that humans interpret as creative output.

It must also take ownership of the task by accounting for what it accomplished and how it did it.

"The software," Colton and Wiggins argue, "should be available for questioning about its motivations, processes, and products," eventually capable of not only generating titles for and explanations and narratives about the work but also responding to questions by engaging in critical dialogue with its audience (Colton and Wiggins 2012, 25). (Colton et al. 2015, 15).

At the same time, these algorithmic incursions into what had previously been a protected and solely human realm have created possibilities.

It's not only a question of whether computers, machine learning algorithms, or other applications can or cannot be held accountable for what they do or don't do; it's also a question of how we define, explain, and define creative responsibility in the first place.

This suggests that there is a strong and weak component to this endeavor, which Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie and Mark Bishop refer to as strong and weak forms of computational creativity, reflecting Searle's initial difference on AI initiatives (Majid al-Rifaie and Bishop 2015, 37).

The types of application development and demonstrations presented by people and companies such as DeepMind, David Cope, and Simon Colton are examples of the "strong" sort.

However, these efforts have a "weak AI" component in that they simulate, operationalize, and stress test various conceptualizations of artistic responsibility and creative expression, resulting in critical and potentially insightful reevaluations of how we have defined these concepts in our own thinking.

Nothing has made Douglas Hofstadter reexamine his own thinking about thinking more than the endeavor to cope with and make sense of David Cope's Emmy nomination (Hofstadter 2001, 38).

To put it another way, developing and experimenting with new algorithmic capabilities does not necessarily detract from human beings and what (hopefully) makes us unique, but it does provide new opportunities to be more precise and scientific about these distinguishing characteristics and their limits.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

AARON; Automatic Film Editing; Deep Blue; Emily Howell; Generative Design; Generative Music and Algorithmic Composition.

Further Reading

Boden, Margaret. 2010. Creativity and Art: Three Roads to Surprise. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Clerwall, Christer. 2014. “Enter the Robot Journalist: Users’ Perceptions of Automated Content.” Journalism Practice 8, no. 5: 519–31.

Colton, Simon. 2012. “The Painting Fool: Stories from Building an Automated Painter.” In Computers and Creativity, edited by Jon McCormack and Mark d’Inverno, 3–38. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Colton, Simon, Alison Pease, Joseph Corneli, Michael Cook, Rose Hepworth, and Dan Ventura. 2015. “Stakeholder Groups in Computational Creativity Research and Practice.” In Computational Creativity Research: Towards Creative Machines, edited by Tarek R. Besold, Marco Schorlemmer, and Alan Smaill, 3–36. Amster￾dam: Atlantis Press.

Colton, Simon, and Geraint A. Wiggins. 2012. “Computational Creativity: The Final Frontier.” In Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, vol. 242, edited by Luc De Raedt et al., 21–26. Amsterdam: IOS Press.

Cope, David. 2001. Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Dreyfus, Hubert L. 1992. What Computers Still Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Feenberg, Andrew. 1991. Critical Theory of Technology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Heidegger, Martin. 1977. The Question Concerning Technology, and Other Essays. Translated by William Lovitt. New York: Harper & Row.

Hoffman, Guy, and Gil Weinberg. 2011. “Interactive Improvisation with a Robotic Marimba Player.” Autonomous Robots 31, no. 2–3: 133–53.

Hofstadter, Douglas R. 1979. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. New York: Basic Books.

Hofstadter, Douglas R. 2001. “Staring Emmy Straight in the Eye—And Doing My Best Not to Flinch.” In Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style, edited by David Cope, 33–82. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hui, Fan. 2016. “AlphaGo Games—English. DeepMind.”

Majid al-Rifaie, Mohammad, and Mark Bishop. 2015. “Weak and Strong Computational Creativity.” In Computational Creativity Research: Towards Creative Machines, edited by Tarek R. Besold, Marco Schorlemmer, and Alan Smaill, 37–50. Amsterdam: Atlantis Press.

Searle, John. 1984. Mind, Brains and Science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

What Is Artificial General Intelligence?

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is defined as the software representation of generalized human cognitive capacities that enables the ...