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Vocabulary: music 词汇:音乐

Computers vs composers 电脑将取代作曲家吗?

Will computers ever replace composers?

Can a computer create music as good as Mozart's? Armand Leroi from Imperial College, London, believes fantastic music can be made without a composer.

Dr Bob MacCallum has been working on Darwin Tunes, a computer programme that can evolve music out of noise.

It's a Darwinian process: at first there are two loops of noise and, as in nature, these 'reproduce' to create four loops, then again to create eight, then 16, and so on.


Volunteers were brought in to rate the tunes: those not liked were thrown out, while those that hit the right note were allowed to breed to create a new generation of songs.

At first the melodies sounded like a bad jam session but, after a few hundred generations, they started to strike a chord. While no 'Bravos' were heard, the tunes improved quickly from their discordant beginnings.

With bigger, faster computers and millions of people's ratings, will this elevator music evolve into masterpieces?

Professor Leroi sings the praises of this new idea: "Would it be Mozart? No, I don't think so. It would have no composer behind it, it wouldn't be the act of any individual musical genius, it would just be the people's music in its purest form."

One thing is for sure: Professor Leroi's grand vision for the future of the Darwinian music machine won't be music to the ears of composers and musicians.

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