Autonomous Evolution of Complete Piano Pieces and Performances

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Evolutionary algorithms are used to evolve musical score material and corresponding performance data, in an autonomous process. In this way complete piano compositions are created and subsequently performed on a computer-controlled grand piano. The efficiency of the creative evolution depends to a large extent on the representation used, which in this case is based on recursively described binary trees. They can represent a wide variety of musical material and corresponding performance data in a compact form, with an inherent potential for musically meaningful variations and archetypal musical gestures. This is combined with a set of automated formalized selection criteria based on experiences from human selection processes in a previous, interactive version of the same system, leading to surprisingly musical output and convincing performances. The system is also capable of rudimentary learning, through recycling of its own musical output, and an accumulated database of human musical input.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of MusicAL Workshop, in Fernando Almeida e Costa et al (Eds.): Advances in Artificial Life, 9th European Conference, ECAL 2007, Lisbon, Portugal, September 10-14, 2007, Proceedings (Workshop CDROM). Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4648 Springer 2007
Publication date2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • music composition
  • piano music
  • music interpretation
  • evolutionary algorithms
  • data representations
  • generative music
  • computer music


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