[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ARSCLIST] Are we at the end of the road musically??

On Wed, 4 Oct 2006, Andes, Donald wrote:

> Just as well, I can't image a way that a computer by itself, even with advanced AI,
would be able to repeatable produce something of value without a human involved.

I am reminded of the time when I was taking my Freshman Harmony classes in
college. It was 1965 (and yes, we had access to a computer then---a very
large one). A group of us felt that common practice harmony was contrived
and that it was so formula driven (we were using the Piston
text...which, oddly enough is more humanistic than some), that all of our
work was suited to the "mindless" computer. So indeed every week we worked
with a programmer to add the new chapter of Piston to our harmony
knowledge base and let the computer do our assignments for us. Without telling our
teacher what we were doing...we were always marked down for a "lack of

Of course our approach was not new, even if we thought we were forward
thinking at the time. Back in 1957 Lejaren Hiller "composed" the Illiac
Suite. He fed several harmonic styles into the computer which then, in
turn, took some basic materials and wrote a piece (several movements, each
in a different style). The last time I listened to the recording, probably
20 years ago, I remember it sounded uninteresting, however, that might
have been my having brought some preconceptions to my listening.

As far as the technology effecting music...I believe it has indeed
effected music throughout history. I consider the development of
instruments, changes in the "technology" of notation...consider the
Italian trecento and their obscure syncopations...plus I believe that the
technology of recording...a point discussed in many books, has
even effected how we play acoustic instruments.


[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]