Playing with Cases: Rendering Expressive Music with Case-Based Reasoning

Ramon López de Mántaras


This paper surveys significant research on the problem of rendering expressive music by means of AI techniques with an emphasis on Case-Based Reasoning. Following a brief overview discussing why we prefer listening to expressive music instead of lifeless synthesized music, we examine a representative selection of well-known approaches to expressive computer music performance with an emphasis on AI-related approaches. In the main part of the paper we focus on the existing CBR approaches to the problem of synthesizing expressive music, and particularly on TempoExpress, a case-based reasoning system developed at our Institute, for applying musically acceptable tempo transformations to monophonic audio recordings of musical performances. Finally we briefly describe an ongoing extension of our previous work consisting on complementing audio information with information of the gestures of the musician. Music is played through our bodies, therefore capturing the gesture of the performer is a fundamental aspect that has to be taken into account in future expressive music renderings. This paper is based on the “2011 Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Lecture” given by the first author at AAAI/IAAI 2011.


Case-Based Reasoning, Art and Music

Full Text:



Copyright © 2015, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( All rights reserved.