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Artificial Intelligent Technology Writing Music

December 23, 2020 / JOE MARJI

Imagination, creativity, and ambition are what brought us here to this modern high-tech age that we live in today. These characteristics are the reason behind mankind’s innovative creations that started from inventing the wheel in the stone ages, to the development of the first car in 1885.

“Every generation needs a new revolution”


For science, the sky’s the limit when it comes to new creations and inventions that serve mankind in their daily life tasks, or just to entertain. Whether it’s a smartphone that keeps you connected with people, a cleaning robot that keeps your floor shiny and spotless, or even a cup holder that just holds your drink inside your car. As time passes, we notice how technology and science prosper to bring new tools and gadgets to the world to facilitate human tasks. It’s all thanks to humans’ ability to imagine and create.

Now, we have reached a point where Artificial Intelligence has been introduced and is helping us do tasks much easier and faster. This remarkable technology has the ability to do what humans can in a more efficient way. It doesn’t have emotions like us but it sure can think and act like it. Therefore, as you think about it, is it possible for them to reach that point of creating, as humans have?

What Is AI Technology?

Artificial intelligent technology (also known as AI) is the process in which robots and machines, created by man, are able to solve problems, complete motor-related tasks, and think like humans by just learning from the experiences they approach. By using the method of deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing, robots can process all the data we give them in an algorithmic manner. By doing so, they determine certain patterns and features to produce the ability to act and think like humans.

Although for some scientists and researchers, the definition of AI technology can go beyond the description I just provided you. Moreover, it’s known as robots that think like humans. You can notice all the amazing inventions originated by using AI like self-parking cars, voice-activated lights, and much more. Although does it stop there? Can more come from AI technology rather than just providing help around the house? Or when giving directions on a built-in GPS?

What I want to get at is…

Can AI Technology Create and Write Music?

It has been known across history and for generations that creating an artistic masterpiece requires passion, dedication, and emotions to bring forth a spectacular piece of art.

Great artistic minds like Da Vinci, were able to paint what to be considered today as one of the iconic paintings that symbolize art, known as the Mona Lisa painting. Another poetic artistic mind like Bach was able to create extraordinary and moving pieces of music that set new standards for musicians back in the 18th century. It is because of humans’ ability to imagine and their willingness to express their emotions through art, that they were able to originate outstanding masterpieces.

Although making music, for instance, does require that sense of passion and emotion to generate it. It still relies on basic rules, patterns, and fundamentals that are very important to know, and acquire, to make or write music from scratch. You see, any piece of music is made up of musical notes, certain chords, and a rhythmic bassline. These musical elements create what we call a melody in a song or just a full song. You can’t apply any chord to any bassline without referring to the rules of music first, because making music is all about assembling all of those key factors in a musical pattern. While following the rules at the same time. Of course, some musicians bypass those rules and still are able to create great songs. Even so, that’s just a different story from what I’m trying to explain.

Emotions in Music

When listening to any type of song, you can instantly tell if it’s a sad, happy, motivating, or horrifying song just from the lyrics. The instrumental melody in the background plays a huge factor in determining the mood of the song. Some chords are considered to provide a happy and uplifting feeling when played. Other musical notes and patterns generate that sense of sadness. Music Theory has assigned certain feelings to certain chords. So, when writing a happy or sad song you can easily pick which chord to use for the certain feeling you want to express in your musical piece. Some instruments used in songs are also related to specific feelings as well. That’s how the genre of music is determined most of the time.

Since making and writing music is mostly about knowing the rules and choosing which chord to go with which note. Then it’s possible to create a song relying only on the fundamentals of Music Theory. Also, if we consider these chords and notes as patterns and data, can’t it be implemented and processed by AI technology?

AI Technology Seen Today

A lot of modern age gadgets have been introduced to the market that uses AI technology to serve our wants and needs. Even music tech. Musical gadgets have been invented like automatic tuners that can tune your guitar hands-free, metronome watches, portable guitars, and many more. What’s truly fascinating is the implementation of this technology into next-level music inventions.

You might not know this but AI technology has been implemented on most of the music platforms you use today. Platforms like Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, and others use mathematical algorithms in their operating system that enable them to predict and suggest songs that might seem appealing to you. It’s all according to the thumbs-up feedback you provide for each song you listen to. It’s also associated with the constant clicks and searches you conduct for certain types of artists and songs.

It’s simply remarkable how these music platforms are able to provide the user with song suggestions and playlists that suit their music taste. This is all possible through AI technology’s ability to process the patterns in the music being played, the tempo, and the instruments used. With that data processed, it can predict the next song that will meet the user’s desire. Since AI can identify the type of music being played, then it’s safe to say that there’s a possibility it can write music as well. Actually, it already has.

Music Platforms That Create Music

Throughout history, many great musical artists have used technology and machines to make writing music an easier task. While for some it was just a source of inspiration. AI technology had been used by musicians for a long time to assist them in originating their masterpieces. Alan Turing, the godfather of computer science, built a machine in 1951 that generated three simple melodies. David Bowie used the lyric randomizer in the ’90s for inspiration. In addition, a music theory professor was able to create a computer program that was able to write new music in the style of Bach. These few examples make it clear that AI was able to assist artists in their music careers.

After a few thorough tests and analyses, AI has become a part of the songwriting process. The research has led to the development of songwriting platforms like Watson Beat, Amper, and Google Magenta NSynth Super. These platforms use the essence of AI in deep learning by processing the data given. They search for patterns in the styles, chords, and other musical elements between songs to produce new material in the end.

Songwriting platforms, like Amper, allow anyone without the musical knowledge or experience to create a full song instantly. The process is quite easy. All you have to do is pick a genre, mood, and tempo while Amper takes care of the rest. This program has been used to create music for podcasts, commercials, and videos for companies. Still, it hasn’t been able to produce a hit song that will reach the top spot in the music billboards. My guess is because it lacks passion and emotion when creating a song.

Will AI Technology Take Over the Music Industry?

While a lot believe that someday AI Technology is going to backfire on us and take over our jobs. Some say that if they do take over everything then more jobs will emerge from it in the process. It’s a conflicting discussion.

What has been made clear though, is that today’s modern age technology has been able to create and write music just like humans can. It’s faster and efficient. Even though it might seem that AI will take over the music industry. It still doesn’t have that emotional side of making music. Furthermore, it’s been proven that even music writing platforms, like Amper, don’t have the ability to create a hit number one song. Or one that will catch the attention of millions. Although they can create music for marketing, promotional, and commercial purposes easily.

In conclusion, Artificial Intelligence is truly a mind-blowing invention. Having it helps us with our everyday life tasks and daily routines. Nevertheless, making it write music is also remarkable and sets high standards for technology nowadays. We don’t know what technology has installed for us but it’s no doubt making the world a better place.