David Cope

David Cope

David Cope (b. San Francisco, California, United States, May 17, 1941) is an American author, composer, scientist, and professor emeritus of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His primary area of research involves artificial intelligence and music; he writes programs and algorithms that can analyze existing music and create new compositions in the style of the original input music. In addition to regular music classes, he teaches a summer Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music that is open to the public as well as a general education course entitled Artificial Intelligence and Music for enrolled UCSC students.

His EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence) software has produced works in the style of over a hundred composers -- ranging from short pieces to full length operas.

As a composer, Cope's own work has encompassed a variety of genres. Most recently, all of his original compositions have been written in collaboration with the computer -- based on an input of his earlier works. He seeks a synergy between composer creativity and computer algorithm as his principal creative direction.


Related quotes

In twenty years of working in artificial intelligence, I have run across nothing more thought-provoking than David Cope's Experiments in Musical Intelligence. What is the essence of musical style, indeed of music itself? Can great new music emerge from the extraction and recombination of patterns in earlier music? Are the deepest of human emotions triggerable by computer patterns of notes?
Despite the fact that Cope's vision of human creativity is radically different from my own, I admire enormously what he has achieved. Indeed, this lovingly written book about a deeply held vision of musical creativity should, I think, earn its place as one of the most significant adventures of the late twentieth century.
Douglas Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach
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 into this 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 art form.
Raymond Kurzweil


He has published a wide range of books, which are often used as textbooks. New Directions in Music is currently in its 7th Edition and is the standard text for contemporary music. In 2009 David Cope was interviewed by the media in anticipation of the release of a CD containing music composed collaboratively by Mr. Cope and Emily Howell, a computer program.


  • Cope, David (1991). Computers and Musical Style. Madison, WI: A-R Editions.
  • Cope, David (1996). Experiments in Musical Intelligence. Madison, WI: A-R Editions.
  • Cope, David (1997). Techniques of the Contemporary Composer. New York, New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-864737-8.
  • Cope, David (2000). New Directions in Music, 7th ed. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press. ISBN 1-57766-108-7.
  • Cope, David (2000). The Algorithmic Composer. Madison, WI: A-R Editions.
  • Cope, David (2001). Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-53261-1.
  • Cope, David (2006). Computer Models of Musical Creativity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Cope, David (2008). Hidden Structure: Music Analysis Using Computers. Madison, WI: A-R Editions. ISBN 978-0-89579-640-0.

Articles and chapters

  • 1992. "A Computer Model of Music Composition." In Machine Models of Music, Stephan Schwanauer and David Levitt, eds.: MIT Press.
  • 1992. "On the Algorithmic Representation of Musical Style." In Musical Intelligence, M. Balaban, K. Ebcioglu, and O. Laske, eds. : AAAI Press.
  • 1998. "Signatures and Earmarks: Computer Recognition of Patterns in Music.." In Melodic Similarity, Concepts, Procedures, and Applications. Walter B. Hewlett and Eleanor Selfridge-Field (eds.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Published articles

  • 1987. "Experiments in Music Intelligence." In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, San Francisco: Computer Music Assn.
  • 1987. "An Expert System for Computer-Assisted Music Composition." Computer Music Journal 11,4 (Winter): 30-46.
  • 1988. "Music and LISP." AI Expert 3,3 (March): 26-34.
  • 1988. "Music: The Universal Language." In Proceedings of the First Workshop on AI and Music. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: AAAI: 87-98.
  • 1989. "Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI): Non-Linear Linguistic-based Composition." Interface Vol. 18: 117-139.
  • 1990. "Pattern Matching as an Engine for the Computer Simulation of Musical Style." In Proceedings of the 1990 ICMC. San Fran Computer Music Assn
  • 1991. "Recombinant Music." COMPUTER. (July).
  • 1991. "Computer Simulations of Musical Style." Computers in Music Research, The Queens University of Belfast, 7-10 (April): 15-17.
  • 1992. "Computer Modeling of Musical Intelligence in Experiments in Musical Intelligence." Computer Music Journal 16,2 (Summer): 69-83.
  • 1993. "Virtual Music." Electronic Musician, 9:5 (May): 80-85.
  • 1996. "Mimesis du style et de la structure musicale." Symposium on Composition, Modelisation et Ordinateur. IRCAM, Paris: 21-3.
  • 1997. "Composer's Underscoring Environment." In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference. San Fran: Computer Music Assn.
  • 1997. "The Composer's Underscoring Environment: CUE." Computer Music Journal 21/3 (Fall).
  • 1999. "One Approach to Musical Intelligence." Intelligent Systems. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society (14/3, May/June).
  • 2000. "Facing the Music: Perspectives on Machine Composed Music." Leonardo Music Journal 9: 79-87.
  • 2002. "Computer Analysis and Composition Using Atonal Voice-Leading Techniques." Perspectives of New Music 40/1 (Winter): 121-146.
  • 2003. "Computer Analysis of Musical Allusions." Computer Music Journal 27/1: 11-28.
  • 2004. " A Musical Learning Algorithm." Computer Music Journal 28/3: 12-27.
  • 2006. "The Vivaldi Code" Wired, Issue 14. 9 September 2006


  • 1993. Bach by Design. Centaur Records. CRC 2184
  • 1997. Classical Music Composed by Computer. Centaur Records. CRC 2329
  • 1997. Virtual Mozart. Centaur Records. CRC 2452
  • 1999. Towers. Vienna Modern Masters. VMM 2024
  • 2003. Virtual Bach. Centaur Records. CRC 2619

See also


External links


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