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Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Other Computer Sciences


Imad Rahal, Computer Science


The desire to teach a computer how to algorithmically compose music has been a topic in the world of computer science since the 1950’s, with roots of computer-less algorithmic composition dating back to Mozart himself. One limitation of algorithmically composing music has been the difficulty of eliminating the human intervention required to achieve a musically homogeneous composition. We attempt to remedy this issue by teaching a computer how the rules of composition differ between the six distinct eras of classical music by having it examine a dataset of musical scores, rather than explicitly telling the computer the formal rules of composition. To pursue this automated composition process, we examined the intersectionality of algorithmic composition with the machine learning concept of classification. Using a Naïve Bayes classifier, the computer classifies pieces of classical music into their respective era based upon a number of attributes. It then attempts to recreate each of the six classical styles using a technique inspired by cellular automata. The success of this process is twofold determined by feeding composition samples into a number of classifiers, as well as analysis by studied musicians. We concluded that there is potential for further hybridization of classification and composition techniques.