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Robots and Algorithms: Making Beautiful Music Together

French and US researchers are developing algorithms enabling computers to produce original music based on existing styles. “We are quite close now to [programming computers to] generate nice melodies in the style of pop composers such as [Michel] Legrand or [Paul] McCartney,” Francois Pachet, head of Sony’s Computer Science Lab in Paris, told The Atlantic website. One of the team’s experiments combined the sound of legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker with the style of French composer Pierre Boulez. . “Instead of thinking of it as computer-generated music,” said noted jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, “I tend to think more along the lines of computer assisted, since whoever writes the code or whichever user sets the parameters is going to be making many of the decisions about what the result might be like.” Among the possible applications for such technology could include generating music for public spaces, such as malls; and creating algorithms able to respond to the environment, such as creating soothing music when a baby is crying. (The Atlantic)(Sony Computer Science Lab)(Francois Pachet)

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