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Music Books

Algorithm Composes Music By Text Analyzing the World's Best Novels 31

Posted by timothy
from the best-novels-worst-music dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The recent development of vast databases that link words to the emotions they conjure up is changing the way researchers study text. Sentiment analysis, for example, is increasingly used to gauge the mood of society on topics ranging from politics to movies. Now researchers have used the same technique to measure the "emotional temperature" throughout a novel and then to automatically compose music that reflects the content. The key advance in this work is the development of rules that map the emotional changes into musical qualities such as tempo, key pitch and so on. The team has fed a number of well known books through the algorithm, which they call TransProse. These include lighter texts such as Peter Pan and much darker novels such as The Road and Heart of Darkness. And the music isn't bad (to my untrained ear). The teams say the new algorithm could lead to audio-visual e-books that generate music that reflects the mood on open pages. And it may even be possible to use the algorithm in reverse to recommend known songs that reflect the mood in a book."
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Algorithm Composes Music By Text Analyzing the World's Best Novels

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  • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @09:35AM (#46556887) Homepage Journal

    There is this thing that automatically generates music for a movie, based on what is shown in the movie: http://juke-bot.com/ [juke-bot.com]

  • Noncreative work (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Considering not only that the music industry works more like manufacturing industry than the work of an artist but also that it appears as if the work can be automated, can we reconsider the way copyright works now since it's clearly based on false premises?

    • by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:37PM (#46557885)

      No, because either you are tone deaf or did not listen to the examples. This is just barely 15th century work. Or more like 14th with two people who agreed on a key and tempo and nothing else.

      The most elegant part is the language processing, and we can only guess if that went well.

      The average 10 year old with decent motor skills could do this accidentally. The suggested melodies are novel and unexpected, given that a human did not impose more than the most rudimentary constraints. A gifted composer could take these ideas as a very rough starting point, but that's as far as they got. It would be unrecognizable before the first draft, unless the composer wanted to start with the original and evolve it into something listenable.

      There are positive points to make, but this in no way undermines copyright.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    . . . to my untrained ear.

    Enough said.

    • It's fairly easy to make automated music that "doesn't sound bad" by choosing a set of chords and a set of notes, then choosing at random. As long as your chords roughly match your melody, and it ends on a tonic it'll sound alright
      • You forgot "to my untrained ear". I know plenty of untrained people who can't write or read one bit of music, but they would agree this sounds bad.

        Interesting, nuggets of good ideas, not bad for 2 voices made by a computer, but without qualifiers it is bad.

        Training can be accomplished through repeated exposure, so if you want to call people who discover patterns that they can't explain "trained", fine. Because that just lowers the number of untrained people who might say this is not bad.

      • by drkim (1559875)

        It's fairly easy to make automated music that "doesn't sound bad" by choosing a set of chords and a set of notes, then choosing at random. As long as your chords roughly match your melody, and it ends on a tonic it'll sound alright

        Band-in-a-Box does a fairly good job of generating nice sounding music, and a great job of arraigning it too.

        Although you can input your own melodies and/or chords, it also can generate melodies and chords from whole cloth.

        http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.d... [pgmusic.com]
        (Try "Exploring Band-in-a-Box 2013")

  • by RDW (41497)

    They've done A Clockwork Orange. Sorry, I'd prefer a bit of the old Ludwig Van.

  • DNA ahead of his time, as usual.

  • I'm fairly sure Commander Data would have come up with some more engaging compositions; this stuff could be placed in an online dictionary beside the word "dull." I suspect that in the next few generations the algorithm will be as abused in applied practice as email, texting, and video have been in our time. Still, if it goes well and the corporations stay away from it long enough for it to develop naturally, the algorithm could become a faltering forward step in human evolution. I am admittedly not confid
  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @10:28AM (#46557069) Journal
    when geeks play with things they don't understand.

    On a positive note, they seem to have expounded our understanding of what music isn't.

    • On a positive note, they seem to have expounded our understanding of what music isn't.

      [I see what you did there. :-)]

      Music is an artistic expression rendered in sound. It doesn't matter how the sound is generated. What matters is intent.

      So I would say yes, this is music. But whether it's good music is an entirely different question.

  • by Grismar (840501) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @10:41AM (#46557103)
    ... the only way this would have truly impressed, if the algorithm had come up with Beethoven's 9th for Clockwork Orange.
  • by Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @11:09AM (#46557213)

    "Tinkerbell! Do you carry the fire?"

  • Even if you allow all JS on the page, it still presents you with these shitty 'soundcloud' windows that do nothing - no click, no mouseover, no anything.

    Not everyone uses Safari or whatever or has $foo plugin installed.

  • It should definitely be something more along those lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
  • by _Ludwig (86077) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:24PM (#46557805) Journal

    Simple algorithm: Yakety Sax for everything.

  • >> the new algorithm could lead to audio-visual e-books that generate music that reflects the mood on open pages

    Oh, great. So along with movies that have music to constantly signal you how to feel, we'll have the same for books.

  • If you make an algorithm that writes original literature based on music... well *then* we'd basically be looking at the AI singularity.

  • I've been wanting a way to link up Spotify and my Runescape game. See what they come up with when I fight the Queen Black Dragon.

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