YQX Plays Chopin

Gerhard Widmer, Sebastian Flossmann, Maarten Grachten


The article is about AI research in the context of a complex artistic behavior: expressive music performance. A computer program is presented that learns to play piano with 'expression' and that even won an international computer piano performance contest. A superficial analysis of an expressive performance generated by the system seems to suggest creative musical abilities. After a critical discussion of the processes underlying this behavior, we abandon the question of whether the system is really creative, and turn to the true motivation that drives this research: to use AI methods to investigate and better understand music performance as a human creative behavior. A number of recent and current results from our research are briefly presented that indicate that machines can give us interesting insights into such a complex creative behavior, even if they may not be creative themselves.


machine learning, music, expressive performance, creativity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v30i3.2249

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