Computer music

More computer generated melodies! Woohoo!

Even though I’ve still got plenty of work to do on my automatic melody generator, it’s at the point now where I’m finding it quite addicting. Here are a bunch of melodies it came up with today (I think there are 12 altogether, each stated twice):

Computer generated melodies

Again, I don’t think the melodies sound super fantastic by themselves, but there are definitely some surprisingly good phrases, in my opinion.

Some notes:

1 – Again, it’s still limited to 8-bar melodies in 4/4 time in C major that begin and end on the I chord and can only use the basic triads. I still have algorithmic changes to make before I start expanding its abilities in this area. (For the audio above, I transposed it up a step to D major; sounded just a bit better to me.)

2 – The program is “creating” its own “melodic knowledge” and, as you might hear, the biggest problem this creates is that it likes to write large melodic leaps every now and then, which can sound funky. It didn’t do this before because it based its melodies on observations, and large melodic leaps like that would never (or rarely) be observed. So I’m going to have to hardwire an interval limit into the algorithm, perhaps letting the user set it.

3 – In the last two melodies, I gave the program the ability to use to 16th notes. You don’t hear them in the other melodies because the program wasn’t allowed to use them, but it’s an easy ability to give the program. Triplets, on the other hand, will be tricky… I guess I’ll have to figure out those at some point. Meh… that can come much later…

4 – The program outputs a text file with note values and accompanying chords; it doesn’t actually output the sound you hear in the MP3 … I had to manually enter the info into Overture 4 and use Garritan Personal Orchestra to create the actual sounds.

By S P Hannifin, ago

Melody project: the great reprogramming – update 5

As I stated yesterday, I’m now working on getting my program to create its own melodic knowledge rather than depend on melodic patterns found in pre-existing melodies. This turns out to be harder than I thought it would be — or at least more time consuming. I’m sure it’s possible, it will just take more programming. So I’m continuing to work on that. If I can’t get it done by the end of the week, I’ll give up on it for a while. In the end, perhaps I’ll use a combo of both methods.

Uh… yeah, that’s pretty much it for today.

By S P Hannifin, ago

Melody project: the great reprogramming – update 4

It’s week 2 of melody generator programming fun! Over the weekend, I was preparing to add more knowledge to my program’s melodic knowledge database, but then I thought: Wait a sec. If the knowledge in the knowledge database comes from patterns found in other melodies, why not create a knowledge database from the patterns found in that database? That way we’d only need a small database, and we can have the program create random melodic knowledge from it. Does that make sense? I have no idea if it will work or not, but I’ll give it a try, so that’s what I’ll be working on today: a melodic knowledge generator. I’ll try to have more musical examples by tonight or tomorrow night (or… later).

Thank you for reading update #4. I will keep the blog informed of any and all progress made on this revolutionary product.

In other news, I wrote some melodies over the weekend and started to hear a piece in my head, so I finally bought Garritan World Instruments, which I hope to use soon. I should be saving my money, but when you’re high on your own melodies playing through your mind, you sometimes just can’t help it. And Garritan products are at least priced awesomely for the amount of stuff you get.

By S P Hannifin, ago