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Music Science

DarwinTunes Iterates, Mixes And Culls To Create Listenable Music From Noise 53

Posted by timothy
from the soon-there-will-be-cover-bands dept.
Shipud writes "A collaboration between a group in Imperial College and Media Interaction group in Japan yielded a really cool website: darwintunes.org. The idea is to apply Darwinian-like selection to music. Starting form a garble, after several generations producing something that is actually melodic and listen-able. The selective force being the appeal of the tune to the listener. From the paper published [Monday] (abstract) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 'At any given time, a DarwinTunes population has 100 loops, each of which is 8 s long. Consumers ratethem on a five-point scale ("I can't stand it" to "I love it") as they are streamed in random order. When 20 loops have been rated,truncation selection is applied whereby the best 10 loops are paired, recombine, and have two daughters each.' Note that in 2009 the creators of darwintunes harnessed the power of Slashdot to help 'evolve' their site."
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DarwinTunes Iterates, Mixes And Culls To Create Listenable Music From Noise

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  • Stick a drum beat over that and we have a Eurovision 2013 winner !

  • We go applying genetic programing to music as homework assignment at GP class
    • by maccallr (240314)

      Well yes, it's easy to knock out some evo-music toy and move on. We were less interested in the toy and more interested in what happens when you let music evolve in an environment of as many human listeners as we can muster.

  • Excellent! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @10:59AM (#40398361)
    Going to grab this software, have it run 24/7 on a Beowulf cluster of servers filled with GPUs. Eventually I will own the copyright in EVERY piece of music not yet in existence!
    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      Parent is modded funny but it might actually be feasible to have a random tune generator churn out every possible combination of some length of music. You probably wouldn't be able to listen to all of it in your lifetime, but you might very well be able to copyright your "tunes", create a searchable database, and run all newly released music against it. If somebody actually did this it would be interesting to see the resulting court cases. Could by doing this somebody actually DOS the copyright system?
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Joke's on you, the recording companies have already patented that.

    • Cheaper than monkeys on synthesizers, that's for sure!
    • by agrif (960591)

      In IP geek circles, Manfred is legendary; he's the guy who patented the business practice of moving your e-business somewhere with a slack intellectual property regime in order to evade licensing encumbrances. He's the guy who patented using genetic algorithms to patent everything they can permutate from an initial description of a problem domain – not just a better mousetrap, but the set of all possible better mousetraps.

      -- Accelerando [antipope.org] , by Charles Stross

    • Quick, somebody patent that idea so that the RIAA can't implement it!

      "I know you wrote this original tune, but our DarwinTunes server farm came up with that three years ago. You owe us $1,000,000 for selling CDs with our tune on it."

  • So it's... (Score:5, Funny)

    by a90Tj2P7 (1533853) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @11:03AM (#40398407)
    Survival of the phattest?
  • I knew this seemed familiar, turns out there was a post for this site on Slashdot in 2009 as well: Music By Natural Selection [slashdot.org]
  • > Starting form [sic] a garble, after several generations producing something that is actually melodic and listen-able.

    Britney Spears, Hansen and a host of other lousy singers and now dancing for joy at the news.
  • Silence is golden (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kozz (7764) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @11:25AM (#40398719)

    Musicians also know that musical compositions benefit from the appropriate amount of silence between notes. If this algorithm were tweaked a bit to include some relative silence here and there, I think it would help the "listenable" factor. Take the final tune for example, and imagine a four-count measure that contained only one note or instrument (or even bass drum-like sound) playing eighth notes on beats 1,2,3,4. It'd create some anticipation, I think. This is the electronic equivalent of "white guy syndrome" -- too many notes!

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @12:25PM (#40399593)
    Apply this to top 40 songs and turn them into music as well...
  • by Pinky (738) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @12:38PM (#40399787) Homepage

    I believe this music has an intelligent designer. Such complex and wonderful music couldn't possibly have arisen by chance. It would be on the same order of magnitude as a tornado blowing through a junkyard assembling a tight little jazz quartet.

    • by Mekan (2667461)

      I believe this music has an intelligent designer. Such complex and wonderful music couldn't possibly have arisen by chance. It would be on the same order of magnitude as a tornado blowing through a junkyard assembling a tight little jazz quartet.

      Actually this music did have a number of intelligent designers. The selection of what sounded good was done be men and women. Designing 'art' through random variation is not new at all.

  • by slyrat (1143997) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @01:47PM (#40401005)
    This reminds me of linux.fm [linux.fm], which is the kernal as a radio station. Maybe a bit off topic but there you go.
  • Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

    There is only one kind of evolution in this Universe: Evolution by variation and selection. Nothing is ever "designed" as per, say, Intelligent Design; everything comes about through an iterative process of variation and selection, which is called evolution. This applies not only to biological systems (which are the most popular example of the evolutionary process in action), but also to social systems, economic systems, physical systems like galaxy formation, etc.

    In particular, there is absolutely no good

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