Evolutionary music

Evolutionary music

Evolutionary music is the audio counterpart to Evolutionary art, whereby algorithmic music is created using an evolutionary algorithm. The process begins with a population of individuals which by some means or other produce audio (e.g. a piece, melody, or loop), which is either initialized randomly or based on human-generated music. Then through the repeated application of computational steps analogous to biological selection, recombination and mutation the aim is for the produced audio to become more musical. Evolutionary sound synthesis is a related technique for generating sounds or synthesizer instruments. Evolutionary music is typically generated using an interactive evolutionary algorithm where the fitness function is the user or audience, as it is difficult to capture the aesthetic qualities of music computationally. However, research into automated measures of musical quality is also active. Evolutionary computation techniques have also been applied to harmonization and accompaniment tasks. The most commonly used evolutionary computation techniques are genetic algorithms and genetic programming.


NEUROGEN ( [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=140338 Gibson & Byrne, 1991] ) employed a genetic algorithm to produce and combine musical fragments and a neural network (trained on examples of "real" music) to evaluate their fitness. A genetic algorithm is also a key part of the improvisation and accompaniment system [http://www.it.rit.edu/~jab/GenJam.html GenJam] which has been developed since 1993 by Al Biles. Al and GenJam are together known as the Al Biles Virtual Quintet and have performed many times to human audiences. Since 1996 Rodney Waschka II has been using genetic algorithms for music composition including works such as " Saint Ambrose " [ [http://www.capstonerecords.org/CPS-8708.html Capstone Records:Rodney Waschka II - Saint Ambrose ] ] and his string quartets. [ [http://www.springerlink.com/content/j1up38mn7205g552/?p=e54526113482447681a3114bed6f5eef&pi=5 SpringerLink - Book Chapter ] ] In 1997 Brad Johanson and Riccardo Poli developed the [http://graphics.stanford.edu/~bjohanso/gp-music/ GP-Music System] which, as the name implies, used genetic programming to breed melodies according to both human and automated ratings. Several systems for drum loop evolution have been produced (including one commercial program called [http://www.geneffects.com/musing/ MuSing] ).

Recent work

In 2007, Springer published two books on this topic. "Evolutionary Computer Music" edited by John "Al" Biles and Eduardo Reck Miranda is devoted exclusively to evolution in music with chapters on composition, performance, and improvisation and other aspects of music production and study using genetic algorithms. [ [http://www.springer.com/computer/information+systems/book/978-1-84628-599-8?detailsPage=toc Evolutionary Computer Music - Multimedia Information Systems Journals, Books & Online Media | Springer ] ] The other book, "The Art of Artificial Evolution" edited by Juan Romero and Penousal Machado examines applications in "art, music, and design". [ [http://art-artificial-evolution.dei.uc.pt/ The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music ] ]

The EvoMUSART workshops ( [http://evonet.lri.fr/TikiWiki/tiki-index.php?page=EvoMUSART 2007] [http://evonet.lri.fr/eurogp2006/?page=evomusart 2006] [http://evonet.lri.fr/eurogp2005/?page=evomusart 2005] [http://evonet.lri.fr/eurogp2004/musartindex.html 2004] [http://evonet.lri.fr/eurogp2003/evomusart.html 2003] ) on evolutionary music and art are one of the main outlets for work on evolutionary music.

The [http://evonet.lri.fr/eurogp2004/songcontest.html EuroGP Song Contest] (a pun on Eurovision Song Contest) was held at [http://evonet.lri.fr/eurogp2004/index.html EuroGP 2004] . In this experiment several tens of users were first tested for their ability to recognise musical differences, and then a short piano-based melody was evolved.

Al Biles gave a [http://www.it.rit.edu/~jab/EvoMusic/BilesEvoMusicSlides.pdf tutorial on evolutionary music] at GECCO 2005 and co-edited a [http://www.springer.com/uk/home/generic/search/results?SGWID=3-40109-22-173674005-0 book] on the subject with contributions from many researchers in the field.

[http://askory.phratry.net/projects/evolutune/ Evolutune] is a small Windows application from 2005 for evolving simple loops of "beeps and boops". It has a graphical interface where the user can select parents manually.

The [http://phoenix.inf.upol.cz/~dostal/evm.html GeneticDrummer] is a Genetic Algorithm based system for generating human-competitive rhythm accompaniment.



* [http://www.it.rit.edu/~jab/EvoMusic/EvoMusBib.html Al Biles' Evolutionary Music Bibliography] - also includes pointers to work on evolutionary sound synthesis.
* [http://art-artificial-evolution.dei.uc.pt/ The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music]


* "Evolutionary Computer Music." Miranda, Eduardo Reck; Biles, John Al (Eds.) London: Springer, 2007.
* "The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music", Juan Romero and Penousal Machado (eds.), 2007, Springer
* "Creative Evolutionary Systems" by David W. Corne, Peter J. Bentley

ee also

* Algorithmic composition
* Generative music
* Evolutionary art

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