[LAU] Google Magenta project's first composition

david gnome at hawaii.rr.com
Sun Jun 5 07:28:17 UTC 2016

On 06/04/2016 07:43 PM, jonetsu at teksavvy.com wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Jun 2016 21:01:16 +0100
> Will Godfrey <willgodfrey at musically.me.uk> wrote:
>> Furthermore, there is not exactly a life-threatening shortage of
>> music, so what 'need' does machine generated music fill?

Presumably, the same 'need' that all other music fills. I recently read 
a great book called "This Is Your Brain On Music" by Daniel J. Levitin 
of the McGill University Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition 
and Expertise. I heartily recommend reading it. Before going to college 
and gaining his degrees, Dr Levitin was a session musician, sound 
engineer and record producer for 10 years; worked with Stevie Wonder and 
Blue Oyster Cult and a bunch of others.

The last chapter discusses the question: Why does music (and the unique 
and powerful parts of the brain dedicated to music) exist? Until the 
last 400-500 years, music was something everyone did, individually (to 
demonstrate fitness as a mate) and as a group (to establish social and 
group unity, enabling them to function together better when hunting or 
facing danger), and also as a communication tool (think about the 
Chinese language which uses pitch to differentiate words, or the many 
varieties of whistles people have used to communicate across distances).

Music was also participatory: everyone sang, beat time, danced as part 
of making music. (Dancing also demonstrated fitness as a mate as well as 
your ability to work together as a group.) The modern classical concert 
where everyone sits there engaged in their intellectual appreciation of 
the violin soloist is completely alien to human music tradition.

Dr Levitin also points out that most people's emotional preference in 
music is determined during adolescence, when the sex hormones start 
firing madly and the body is screaming to its surroundings, "Reproduce 
with me!" People fix on the music they think will get them laid.

Perhaps another need: The need of people to expand existing knowledge in 
new ways. In Christian music, some have the concept of being "priests of 
creation": People who enable nature to praise God in ways nature would 
be otherwise unable to do on its own. Computers and software are part of 
nature. So Magenta's developers are giving voice to otherwise voiceless 
things like integrated circuits, silicon chips, etc.

Personally, I think that developers of audio creation and manipulation 
software are also priests of creation. So bear your new title proudly!

> Record companies not having to pay artists ? :)


Or record companies and artists both desperately trying to avoid having 
some jury decide that a .2 second bit of sound on one musician's album 
was really lifted from someone else's album? Or the chord progression in 
your song was "stolen" from someone else? Such could be the idiocies of 
our legal system, though.

David W. Jones
gnome at hawaii.rr.com
authenticity, honesty, community

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