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Lucy Dacus' New Album Is Pleasantly Melodic, but It Ain't Easy Listening

Mother Jones

Lucy Dacus has a pretty, reassuring voice and crafts pleasant folk-pop melodies, which suggests Historian should be easy listening. The Virginia native's compelling second album is a startling set of unsparing vignettes exploring damaged or dying relationships, laced with Dacus' blunt observations. "Am I a masochist, resisting urges to punch you in the teeth?" she muses coolly on "Night Shift," while "Timefighter" finds her confessing, "I fought time/It won in a landslide." Starting softly, the songs often build to dramatic crescendos, punctuated by buzzing electric guitars Neil Young would admire. Through it all, Dacus remains sweetly unflappable, her calm demeanor countering the theatrics with the vocal equivalent of a shrug, as if to say, "This too shall pass."


FreshJam: Suggesting Continuations of Melodic Fragments in a Specific Style

AAAI Conferences

Imagine that a budding composer suffers from writer's block partway through devising a melody. A system called FreshJam is demonstrated, which offers a solution to this problem in the form of an interactive composition assistant; an algorithm that analyzes the notes composed so far, makes a comparison with an indexed corpus of existing music, and suggests a possible next note by choosing randomly among continuations of matched melody fragments. We provide a demonstration of FreshJam as an aid in stylistic composition, and of its potential to be more iterative than existing composition assistants such as PG Music's Band in a Box or Microsoft's Songsmith.


Music and Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Reynolds has often compared his SPLITZ and SPIRLZ algorithms to a very traditional type of algorithm used in music, the canon. The process of canon is simply to combine a melody (the input) with one or more imitations of itself (possibly transposed, possibly slightly modified), each of which has been delayed by a certain time interval. The result is a contrapuntal output: the original melody in counterpoint with its delayed imitation(s). That is the explicit definition of the algorithm of the canon, and Reynolds maintains that his algorithms are similar in that they act upon the input in a predictable, well-defined way to produce a predictable output. However, implicit in the canon of tonal music is a whole set of explicit classical rules of harmony and voice-leading to which the output must conform.


Learning to Uncover Deep Musical Structure

AAAI Conferences

The overarching goal of music theory is to explain the inner workings of a musical composition by examining the structure of the composition. Schenkerian music theory supposes that Western tonal compositions can be viewed as hierarchies of musical objects. The process of Schenkerian analysis reveals this hierarchy by identifying connections between notes or chords of a composition that illustrate both the small- and large-scale construction of the music. We present a new probabilistic model of this variety of music analysis, details of how the parameters of the model can be learned from a corpus, an algorithm for deriving the most probable analysis for a given piece of music, and both quantitative and human-based evaluations of the algorithm's performance. This represents the first large-scale data-driven computational approach to hierarchical music analysis.


Museum Honoring Avicii To Open In Sweden

International Business Times

A new museum is being made in Stockholm in honor of Avicii's legacy. The museum will be dedicated to the life and achievements of the DJ and will open for the public in 2021. In a press release obtained by the Rolling Stone, the museum organizers revealed that the objective behind "Avicii Experience" is to bring fans "closer" to the artist, whose real name was Tim Bergling. The organizers further explained that fans would get to know about Bergling's inspiring journey from being a "music nerd" to becoming a world-renowned DJ. Visitors will also be able to hear some of Avicii's unreleased music and see the "creative process" that went into his creations.