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navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
The BBC's just published this article.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18449939

What do you think?
Hi kevgermany, my thoughts on this are another scientific paper with lots of ifs and suppositions.

One major supposition being that everyone has a computer or will have one. So in effect he is experimenting with music which can only be assessed by a selected few. (Even though the internet is vast.)

The other point is that the regenerative loops follow a precise and clinical formulae and as I understand it have no room for improvisation because they depend on the original root or DNA, to function. There is no wild card factor in his findings.

Computers do not produce music they produce a series of sounds which depend on given formulae to blend into something pleasing to the human ear. If one listens carefully to most electronic music. (Which I like incidentally. Tomita, Van Gellis. etc,) there is a very repetitive theme throughout.

Okay one could argue that composers depend upon a strict set of musical notations as their root. But musical roots go back to the first human to tap a stick or produce a sound orally which is pleasing to the ear.

Computers can not produce something musical which has not already got it`s origin in the distant past of civilization.

My conclusion being no contest, composers are improvisers. Computers are machines which depend upon in the musical sense something which already exists. RIP Messrs Handel, Bach, Coltrane, Mingus etc. Thanks kevgermany interesting article though. Regds N.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,125
Someone at the Imperial College is paid with taxpayers money to do an inconsistent research: it took 3000 generations to develop the drum, the very first form of music.

But he is a scientist, so he must be right...
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
To be honest I find it fascinating...

There is a very persuasive theory of creativity set out in David Deutsch's book The Beginning of Infinity, which suggests that the key to creativity of all kinds is grounded in some kind of evolution (taking that term wider than the "origin of species" definition).

He argues that in the mind of the creative thinker, there is a continual process of variation and selection occurring. Think of ideas, reject this one, take that one forward as promising, gradually or not so gradually refining what one produces, but also constantly injecting new elements and keeping the ones that work.

Isn't this ever so close to what we do when we (try to) improvise? Make little experiments - some sound good, so build on that, the ones that fall flat (sometimes literally) we move swiftly on from.

I think the computer experiment reported is very limited by the range of what can be allowed to vary ... but within that range, I do think this is coming close to some sort of real, albeit limited, creativity: through variation and selection. BUT - it is NOT the computer that is being creative, because the selection part is crucial, and is delivered by humans. So it is the broader "system" taken as a whole and including the human participants, that is being creative.

(I feel a blog post coming on, but needs more thought >:) )
 
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navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
To be honest I find it fascinating...

There is a very persuasive theory of creativity set out in David Deutsch's book The Beginning of Infinity, which suggests that the key to creativity of all kinds is grounded in some kind of evolution (taking that term wider than the "origin of species" definition).

He argues that in the mind of the creative thinker, there is a continual process of variation and selection occurring. Think of ideas, reject this one, take that one forward as promising, gradually or not so gradually refining what one produces, but also constantly injecting new elements and keeping the ones that work.

Isn't this ever so close to what we do when we (try to) improvise? Make little experiments - some sound good, so build on that, the ones that fall flat (sometimes literally) we move swiftly on from.

I think the computer experiment reported is very limited by the range of what can be allowed to vary ... but within that range, I do think this is coming close to some sort of real, albeit limited, creativity: through variation and selection. BUT - it is NOT the computer that is being creative, because the selection part is crucial, and is delivered by humans. So it is the broader "system" taken as a whole and including the human participants, that is being creative.

(I feel a blog post coming on, but needs more thought >:) )
Hi saxplorer, I accept that it is a form of limited creativity, however his prognosis in the non-medical sense is composers beware.

What has not been taken into consideration is the human creativity required to initially throw the computer switch, which to a degree you have illustrated in your statement ` But - it is not the computer that is being creative.`

Something has occurred to me though, could the thesis put forward by the researcher be an experiment within an experiment deliberately aimed at inducting creativity within the human faculty, using music as a trigger. Look forward to your blog. regds N.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Hi kevgermany, my thoughts on this are another scientific paper with lots of ifs and suppositions.

Computers do not produce music they produce a series of sounds which depend on given formulae to blend into something pleasing to the human ear.

Regds N.
Forgive me but isn't that a definition of music theory?>:)>:)>:);};};}:D:D:D
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,947
Must admit I'm surprised no-one has mentioned monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare. (OG you disappointed me) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem_in_popular_culture

I thought about this long and hard. What on the surface appears to be an absolute waste of time and money got my thinking.

But all they're really doing is asking people to pick what they like out of random sounds. So the 'listeners' will guide the results according to taste. And that eventually becomes 'music' to the listeners.

But there's no creativity in this. No emotion, except what maybe appeals to the selectors. but no constructive attempt by a composer to convey a scene or emotion.

So I come back to my original impression. I'm with Aldevis here. But I'm looking forward to hearing more of teh other viewpoint in saxplorers blog.
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Very interesting concept, perhaps with potential. Whatever evolves must be determined by the algorithm and initial conditions, like an aural version of cellular automata, as well as by choice of participants.

At this point, it's still very primitive as a way to make music. Each of us (musicians and listeners) makes so many choices at every step of the way, generating music like this compared to even the most naive composer is like chimpanzee grunts compared to Shakespeare. While it may not be theoretically impossible to make actual music like this, the problem may be intractable.

One point is that it seems to reach equilibrium around what we would think of as any reasonable 1-chord background figure. It's like once it settles into a key center, people as an aggregate don't push it in any direction -- there is no longer a consensus that it is bad and needs changing.

OTOH, as a study of evolution (rather than of music), it may demonstrate how punctuated equilibrium can happen, which is kind of interesting.
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
Forgive me but isn't that a definition of music theory?>:)>:)>:);};};}:D:D:D
Hi old git, point taken, however the researcher stated as I understand it, that eventually the regenerative loops would compose. Compose what though.?

al In the case of human composition it is more a case of producing a series of sounds that suggest they may be pleasing to the human ear then fitting it into a prescribed framework. Where as the researcher suggests the opposite. He gives no thought to ethnomusicology therefore when he researched the general public did he take into consideration different ethnic groups responses to the generational regenerative loops.

Dr. MaCallum is a mosquito researcher at Imperial College and carried out his research work on musical composition at night. (No doubt he got a buzz from this.:rolleyes:) Could it be that his next project will be based on the composing abilities of mosquitoes.

Suggested titles being `A little Night Music` or ` I Got You Under Your Skin.` (Sorry flippancy has no place within serious comment.:shocked:) Best Regards N.:D
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Suggested titles being `A little Night Music` or ` I Got You Under Your Skin.` (Sorry flippancy has no place within serious comment.:shocked:) Best Regards N.:D
"The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" or "You and the night and the music".

Going back to the serious aspect of this playful research, unfortunately we go back to the original unanswerable question "what is music" or "what is art".

The researcher must have been scratching his mosquito-bitten head.
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
"The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" or "You and the night and the music".

Going back to the serious aspect of this playful research, unfortunately we go back to the original unanswerable question "what is music" or "what is art".

The researcher must have been scratching his mosquito-bitten head.
Nice one aldevis.:thumb:
 
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