Artificial intelligence complete an unfinished work of Beethoven

The orchestra director raises his baton and music begins to sound before an expectant audience, who tries to discover Beethoven's footprint in a melody based o

Artificial intelligence complete an unfinished work of Beethoven

The orchestra director raises his baton and music begins to sound before an expectant audience, who tries to discover Beethoven's footprint in a melody based on a few of his but completed with the help of artificial intelligence.

The work, interpreted in a room of Lausanne (Switzerland) by the Nexus orchestra, is inspired by a melody of the German composer, possibly fragments of its 10th symphony. The technology ended the unprecedented piece in a few hours, the orchestra rehearsed it and that same night presented it at a concert.

The work was baptized as Beethovann 10.1 and was created thanks to an artificial intelligence program. "ANN" refers to the acronym (in English) of artificial neural network, one of the forms of artificial intelligence.

"We do not know very well how it will result. The result is unforeseen, but the important thing is not the result, but the process," Guillaume Berney explained days before, the Orchestra Director.

THE PIECE

Behind Beethovann 10.1 is Florian Colombo, a cellist who has dedicated many years to teaching a machine the art of composing in the style of one of the greatest musicians in history. On Thursday, Colombo opened the Symphonie 10.1 file on a large screen and, with a single click, finished the final score of the work that lasts about five minutes.

Then Guillaume Berney made some harmonic adjustments and the piece was presented to the public that same night. This Friday plans to conduct a second concert. "It's great, it's like being in the maternity unit; it's a birth," said the orchestra director with the first sheets of score on his hand. "There are some things that are very good; others are out of style but it is nice, maybe the spark of genius lacks," he added.

During the essay, Florian Colombo also confessed his emotion: "There is a touch of Beethoven but this is truly Beethovann, something to discover."

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Colombo, computer investigator of the prestigious Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, educated artificial neuron networks with the 16 rope quarters of Beethoven and its particular chords; Then he asked him to compose from fragments what he could have become the 10th symphony.

"The idea is to be able to tighten the button and have full score for the entire symphony orchestra, without more interventions than my previous work," the researcher explained.

Colombo began this project almost ten years ago and its next goal is to create an emerging company that "contributes those tools to professional musicians, amateurs and orchestras so that everyone can compose loudly or create customized scores."

And if someone sees in this idea an insult to Beethoven, Guillaume Berney responds: "This is not at all offensive, the composers of the time were all avant-garde. They always looked for new ways of doing things."

Updated Date: 04 September 2021, 14:23

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