Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style

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 ...

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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.

The MIT Press

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What People Are Saying

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

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262532617
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/17/2003
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 584
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Cope is a composer and Professor of Music at the University of California,
Santa Cruz. He is the author of Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of
Musical Style
(MIT Press, 2004).
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Table of Contents

Preface
The CD
I Fundamentals 1
1 Virtual Music 3
2 Staring Emmy Straight in the Eye - And Doing My Best Not to Flinch 33
3 Response to Hofstadter 83
4 Composing Style-Specific Music 93
5 The Importance of Patterns 109
6 Structure 127
II Processes and Output 139
7 Databases 141
8 Analysis 147
9 Themes and Variations 153
10 Interface 177
III Commentary 185
11 Composition, Combinatorics, and Simulation: A Historical and Philosophical Enquiry 187
12 Experiments in Musical Intelligence and Bach 221
13 Dear Emmy: A Counterpoint Teacher's Thoughts on the Experiments in Musical Intelligence Program's Two-Part Inventions 237
14 Who Cares if It Listens? An Essay on Creativity, Expectations, and Computational Modeling of Listening to Music 263
15 Collision Detection, Muselot, and Scribble: Some Reflections on Creativity 283
16 A Few Standard Questions and Answers 293
IV Response and Perspectives 307
17 Response to Commentaries 309
18 Perspectives and the Future 323
Bibliography 347
App. A Mozart Databases 355
App. B An Experiment in Musical Intelligence: Mozart Movement 379
App. C An Experiment in Musical Intelligence: Mozart Reject 385
App. D Virtual Music 391
App. E The Game Key 559
Index 561
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