Finally, a Computer that Writes Contemporary Music Without Human Help


The BBC ran a story about a computer at the University of Malaga in Spain, dubbed “Iamus” after a mythical Greek prophet who could translate birdsong, that’s capable of composing contemporary classical music without human aid (“contemporary” meaning you probably won’t walk away humming a melody unless you’re an aficionado of 20th century classical music).

...  Aesthetics aside, Iamus isn’t the 21st century’s answer to Mozart, though that’s the sort of eye-catching headline this technology gives rise to. It’s rather a 21st century flag waver for something known as “melomics music technology” (melomics is a portmanteau of  ”melody” and “genomics”). Genomics is the discipline of sequencing, assembling and analyzing all of an organism’s genetic material — its genome. Melomics, then, is an algorithm that fiddles with genome-like data structures to produce plausible music compositions.

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