Talk at Harvey-Mudd College

On my way through Southern California, I was invited by Prof. Robert Keller, who works on the impro-visor, to give a talk at Harvey-Mudd College in Claremont, CA on July 23rd. The topic of the talk was focused on my Mary-Curie project (MorpheuS): "An automatic composition system for structured music based on optimisation and machine learning".

Many state of the art music generation/improvisation systems generate music that sounds good on a note-to-note level. However, these compositions often lack long term structure or coherence. This problem is addressed in this research by generating music that adheres to a structural template. A powerful variable neighbourhood search algorithm (VNS) was developed, which is able to generate a range of musical styles based on it's objective function, whilst constraining the music to a structural template. In the first stage of the project, an objective function based on rules from music theory was used to generate counterpoint. In the second part of the research, a machine learning approach is combined with the VNS in order to generate structured music for the bagana, an Ethiopian lyre.