Virtual Music

Computer Synthesis of Musical Style

Virtual Music is about artificial creativity. Focusing on the author's Experiments in Musical Intelligence computer music composing program, the author and a distinguished group of experts discuss many of the issues surrounding the program, including artificial intelligence, music cognition, and aesthetics.

The book is divided into four parts. The first part provides a historical background to Experiments in Musical Intelligence, including examples of historical antecedents, followed by an overview of the program by Douglas Hofstadter. The second part follows the composition of an Experiments in Musical Intelligence work, from the creation of a database to the completion of a new work in the style of Mozart. It includes, in sophisticated lay terms, relatively detailed explanations of how each step in the process contributes to the final composition. The third part consists of perspectives and analyses by Jonathan Berger, Daniel Dennett, Bernard Greenberg, Douglas R. Hofstadter, Steve Larson, and Eleanor Selfridge-Field. The fourth part presents the author's responses to these commentaries, as well as his thoughts on the implications of artificial creativity.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. The CD
  3. I. Fundamentals
  4. 1. Virtual Music
  5. 2. Staring Emmy Straight in the Eye -- And Doing My Best Not to Flinch

    Douglas Hofstadter

  6. 3. Response to Hofstadter
  7. 4. Composing Style-Specific Music
  8. 5. The Importance of Patterns
  9. 6. Structure
  10. II. Processes and Output
  11. 7. Databases
  12. 8. Analysis
  13. 9. Themes and Variations
  14. 10. Interface
  15. III. Commentary
  16. 11. Composition, Combinatorics, and Simulation: A Historical and Philosophical Enquiry

    Eleanor Selfridge-Field

  17. 12. Experiments in Musical Intelligence and Bach

    Bernard Greenberg

  18. 13. Dear Emmy: A Counterpoint Teacher's Thought on the Experiments in Musical Intelligence Program's Two-Part Invention

    Steve Larson

  19. 14. Who Cares if It Listens? An Essay on Creativity, Expectations, and Computational Modeling of Listening to Music

    Jonathan Berger

  20. 15. Collision Detection, Muselot, and Scribble: Some Reflections on Creativity

    Daniel Dennett

  21. 16. A Few Standard Questions and Answers

    Douglas Hofstadter

  22. IV. Response and Perspectives
  23. 17. Response to Commentaries
  24. 18. Perspectives and the Future
  25. Bibliography
  26. A. Mozart Databases
  27. B. An Experiment in Musical Intelligence: Mozart Movement
  28. C. An Experiment in Musical Intelligence: Mozart Reject
  29. D. Virtual Music
  30. E. The Game Key
  31. Index