Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style

Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style

by David Cope
     
 

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Virtual Music is about artificial creativity.

Focusing on the author's Experiments in Musical Intelligence computer music composing program, the author and a distinguished group of experts discuss many of the issues surrounding the program, including artificial intelligence, music cognition, and aesthetics.

The book is divided into four parts.

The

Overview

Virtual Music is about artificial creativity.

Focusing on the author's Experiments in Musical Intelligence computer music composing program, the author and a distinguished group of experts discuss many of the issues surrounding the program, including artificial intelligence, music cognition, and aesthetics.

The book is divided into four parts.

The first part provides a historical background to Experiments in Musical Intelligence, including examples of historical antecedents, followed by an overview of the program by Douglas Hofstadter. The second part follows the composition of an Experiments in Musical Intelligence work, from the creation of a database to the completion of a new work in the style of Mozart. It includes, in sophisticated lay terms, relatively detailed explanations of how each step in the process contributes to the final composition. The third part consists of perspectives and analyses by Jonathan Berger, Daniel Dennett, Bernard Greenberg, Douglas R. Hofstadter, Steve Larson, and Eleanor Selfridge-Field. The fourth part presents the author's responses to these commentaries, as well as his thoughts on the implications of artificial creativity.

The book (and corresponding Web site) includes an appendix providing extended musical examples referred to and discussed in the book,including composers such as Scarlatti, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin,Puccini, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Debussy, Bartok, and others. It is also accompanied by a CD containing performances of the music in the text.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262532617
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
01/17/2003
Edition description:
Book and CD
Pages:
584
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Margaret A. Boden
Virtual Music is not to be missed. It is engrossing,illuminating, and some would say outrageous. David Cope's computer program, Emmy,composes music that's difficult to distinguish from real music. But perhaps it is 'real' music? And perhaps Emmy is "really" creative? Several critics insist that it isn't. Douglas Hofstadter, for instance, challenges Cope in an essay in the book called "Staring Emmy Straight in the Eye — And Doing My Best Not to Flinch." Their debate is essential reading for anyone interested in musical creativity, or in the relation between creativity and computers. You don't need to be a computer-buff, or an expert musician either, to be fascinated by it. Whether you'll be seduced or merely infuriated is for you to find out.

Raymond Kurzweil
If only Beethoven or Chopin could explain their methods as clearly as David Cope. So when Cope's program writes a delightful turn of musical phrase, who is the artist: the composer being emulated, Cope's software, or David Cope himself? Cope offers keen philosophical insights intothis question, one that will become increasingly compelling over time.He also provides us with brilliant and unique insights into the intricate structure of humankind's most universal artform.

From the Publisher
"David Cope's new book is a must for anyone interested in musical creativity or the formal analysis of music. Not least, it's a must for anyone who already knows Cope's work: you're in for some surprises!"—Margaret A. Boden, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University ofSussex

"'Virtual Music' is not to be missed. It is engrossing, illuminating, and some would say outrageous. David Cope's computer program, Emmy, composes music that's difficult to distinguish from real music. But perhaps it is 'real' music? And perhaps Emmy is "really" creative? Several critics insist that it isn't. Douglas Hofstadter, for instance, challenges Cope in an essay in the book called "Staring Emmy Straight in the Eye — And Doing My Best Not to Flinch." Their debate is essential reading for anyone interested in musical creativity, or in the relation between creativity and computers. You don't need to be a computer-buff, or an expert musician either, to be fascinated by it. Whether you'll be seduced or merely infuriated is for you to find out."—Margaret A. Boden,Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex

"If only Beethoven or Chopin could explain their methods as clearly as David Cope.

So when Cope's program writes a delightful turn of musical phrase, who is the artist: the composer being emulated, Cope's software, or David Cope himself? Cope offers keen philosophical insights intothis question, one that will become increasingly compelling over time. He also provides us with brilliant and unique insights into the intricate structure of humankind's most universal artform."—Raymond Kurzweil, inventor and author of The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age ofSpiritual Machines

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Vanke is an assistant professor of history and international affairsat Guilford College.

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