[Smt-talk] Aesthetics of Computer-Generated Music

Michael Morse mwmorse at bell.net
Thu Apr 7 04:50:20 PDT 2011

For my part, I confess, I would be especially interested in double-blind studies that show how double-blind studies that rate meaningfulness are themselves meaningful.

A century's worth of attempts to quantify musical meaning, emotional and otherwise, have done little that I can see but pave the way for charlatans like Don Campbell. 

MW Morse
Trent University

Dear Collective Wisdom

could anyone refer me to studies done on computer-generated music as aesthetic entities ?

I would be especially interested in [double-]blind studies where listeners were asked to rate "meaningfulness" 

or emotional richness of music that was a) either composed with an intent to convey emotion or b) fully generated by computer.

Of course, the method of delivery (computer players/ human performers/ 
purely electroacoustic etc.) should be equal for both musics.

I am aware that, of course, making and listening to computer-generated 
music is in itself an aesthetic statement, regardless of the emotional 
import of the music.

But while this is certainly of interest to me in general, for this particular research I am not interested in that aspect.

I am interested in what you could call the "emotional reality" of music as it is experienced by listeners.

Do listeners perceive a "message" in music even if there is no direct human intervention in its "composition"?

Can listeners make out if something is composed by computer or by a 
human composer (perhaps using the computer as a tool, or without any 
computation at all)?

My hunch is they cannot, and do not really care - but I would like to learn more about it.

Any hints ?

Thank you in advance

Sandeep Bhagwati
Canada Research Chair in Inter–X Art
Concordia University Montreal

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