[Smt-talk] Aesthetics of Computer-Generated Music

Dmitri Tymoczko dmitri at princeton.edu
Sun Apr 10 10:04:17 PDT 2011

For the last five years or so, I've subjected my intro music-theory classes to a musical Turing Test: I play the first movement of David Cope's Concerto (from Virtual Bach) and ask them to name the composer.  Nobody has ever said “a computer,” and they’re always pretty surprised when I tell them how the piece was created.  Total number of students probably about 350.

It seems to me that it would be very easy to find pairs of pieces, one computer-generated and one human composed, where untrained listeners show a strong if not overwhelming preference for the computer-generated piece.  Not sure what if anything to take form that ...


Dmitri Tymoczko
Associate Professor of Music
310 Woolworth Center
Princeton, NJ 08544-1007
(609) 258-4255 (ph), (609) 258-6793 (fax)

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