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

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the best-novels-worst-music dept.

Music 31

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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Music from text, music from video (3, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 6 months ago | (#46556887)

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]

Re:Music from text, music from video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557287)

All I got was "This is a joke. To make good music, you always need talented people. Here is our platform to connect talents from all over the world, blah ...".

Re:Music from text, music from video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557573)

Wow, that was perhaps the most horrible promotion video I've ever seen. Not to speak of the appalling repetitive background music ...

Re:Music from text, music from video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557921)

Juke-bot is fake.

Noncreative work (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46556905)

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?

Re:Noncreative work (4, Insightful)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

And the music isn't bad . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46556979)

. . . to my untrained ear.

Enough said.

Re:And the music isn't bad . . . (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#46557651)

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

Re:And the music isn't bad . . . (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#46557977)

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.

Re:And the music isn't bad . . . (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 6 months ago | (#46558543)

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")

Re:And the music isn't bad . . . (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#46558565)

Yeah, actually it does better than this lol

Horrorshow (1)

RDW (41497) | about 6 months ago | (#46557007)

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

Re:Horrorshow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557081)

I was JUST going to say something along the same lines: the more I listen to this sort of music, the more I appreciate the old masters.

TransProse, because Anthem was taken (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 6 months ago | (#46557019)

DNA ahead of his time, as usual.

Chopin need not fear anything from this (1)

nightcats (1114677) | about 6 months ago | (#46557031)

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 confident about that, but it is a good target for hope [briandonohue.org] .

Re:Chopin need not fear anything from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557241)

I'm fairly sure Commander Data would have come up with some more engaging compositions; if he existed in real life

FTFY

This is what happens (3, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#46557069)

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.

Re:This is what happens (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 6 months ago | (#46558471)

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.

jolly green giant wardrobe conspiracy goes viral (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557075)

in a byrds eye... will all the guys named bambi please raise your mouses or just wave? what's the odds of that?

It's cute, but ... (3)

Grismar (840501) | about 6 months ago | (#46557103)

... the only way this would have truly impressed, if the algorithm had come up with Beethoven's 9th for Clockwork Orange.

ask leonard cohen, he should know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557151)

he rocks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wbDSd17uzE and rolls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTTC_fD598A

How about some mashups? (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 6 months ago | (#46557213)

"Tinkerbell! Do you carry the fire?"

Re:How about some mashups? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#46557333)

The Horror!

Oh, the many facets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46557395)

The first thing that came to my mind was the dialog in Cronenberg's "The Fly"... about how machines must get what an old lady feels when she wants to pinch a baby's cheek.

Upon hearing I was kinda disappointed -- not because it's bad... it is indeed surprisingly better than expected -- and I think I know why.

Several persons look at the same fact, story or video and get different impressions. From bored to maniac, there are feelings associated with the perception of reality (or fiction). One can see "A Clockwork Orange" and think it's depressive; another can feel the testosterone-paced narrative; another one will focus on the discussion of society rules versus the role of the individual, a near Political argument.

Also, if it really worked perfectly, I guess it would be disappointing nonetheless. Music complements the story: that's why you need to go to the cinema, because you can't imagine a priori what feelings will be conveyed by music. For comparison, remember the very different feelings the Batman motion-picture track evokes compared to the '60's version with Adam West. One somber, the other showy.

Finally, there is a wide set of complexities which is hard to attain like, for instance:
- making the tracks at different points in a story integrated when seen together: must they all be in accord or should there be a counterpoint?
- must it give hints about the plot or should it fool the watchers for greater surprise?
- what is the cultural background of the plot, of the audience, of nowadays?

These mere examples are very difficult assessments, even for humans.

Of course, we must start at some point... though how can we put emotions into the algorithm?

Would be nice if the site didn't suck (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#46557415)

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.

They have it wrong for Clockwork Orange (1)

DavidMZ (3411229) | about 6 months ago | (#46557671)

It should definitely be something more along those lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Simple algorithm (3, Funny)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 6 months ago | (#46557805)

Simple algorithm: Yakety Sax for everything.

Music to tell you how to feel (1)

Joosy (787747) | about 7 months ago | (#46561333)

>> 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.

Reverse would be more awesome (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 7 months ago | (#46561945)

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

Can we do it with games too? (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 7 months ago | (#46562429)

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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