Steven Jan

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pp. 473–564

6 Computer Simulation of Musical Evolution

  • Steven Jan (author)
Chapter 6: surveys a number of computer systems developed over the last 20 years or so that attempt to generate music, many of which use evolutionary algorithms. As examples of the radical AI field of computational creativity, or musical metacreation, evolutionary-generative systems relate closely to systems for simulating/emulating language evolution (such as those developed by Simon Kirby), in that they generate music by means of the recombination of discrete patterns occurring in some selective environment. The most sophisticated of these systems, as represented by the work of Eduardo Miranda, emulate societies of virtual musical agents (some use robots as physical manifestations of those virtual agents) and allow for model-ling of both biological (via quasi-genetic inheritance between ‘generations’ of virtual agents) and cultural (via memetic transmission of musical patterns) coevolution. They suggest, as does the consideration of animal ‘musics’ in Chapter 5, that creativity, and the associated issue of taste-judgment, is not exclusively the preserve of our own species.


Steven Jan