A lesson in music

Over the course of developing our project, we folks had to also educate ourselves in music theory, and what goes into making a good composition. <An aside: very much of a reversal to standard AI, isn’t it? 😀 We <the knowledge base> learn about the domain by some source <the internet>, and then use it to solve a problem<program the computer to play good music>.

Now, the answer to what goes into making a good piece of music is not very objective (and that’s why we don’t have new Mozart’s everyday>. However, we found that just by knowing the basic elements of music – the parameters whose variations creates the music – we were in a better place to tackle our project related to algorithmic music composition. Here we list down these parameters, and a good link to read more about them <for non-music folks :)>

Pitch: The frequency of the sound – this is what corresponds to the main tune or the melody, that lets us identify a song: http://music-theory.ascensionsounds.com/pitch-the-sound-of-music/

Rhythm: Rhythm is the temporal part of music – the manner in which pitches vary over time : http://music-theory.ascensionsounds.com/its-about-musical-time/

Harmony: Playing a single sound at a point, makes the resulting tune very simple. Music that appeals is one that is complicated to keep the mind engaged, and yet, not too complex so that it is overloaded with information. A number of pitches played at the same time constitute a harmony: http://music-theory.ascensionsounds.com/do-melody-and-harmony-suggest-that-music-is-from-outer-space/

Timbre: The tone “color” – this is a characteristic of the instrument. You can tell a guitar apart from a piano – that’s timber: http://music-theory.ascensionsounds.com/color-form-and-style-in-music/

The variation of the basic elements is what makes music sound good or bad.

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