Musical robots and MIR

Musical robots and MIR

Centre Director Professor David De Roure and researchers Pip Willcox, Dr Kevin Page, Graham Klyne and Dr David Weigl took part in the 11th Digital Music Research Network workshop at Queen Mary University of London last month.

Kevin Page, David De Roure, Graham Klyne and Pip Willcox presented on interacting with robots as performers and producers of music (with Alan Chamberlain, University of Nottingham), and Dr Weigl spoke about conceptualizing relevance for music information retrieval.

The Digital Music Research Network aims to promote research in the area of Digital Music by bringing together researchers from UK universities and industry in electronic engineering, computer science and music. It is funded by the EPSRC funded Fusing Audio and Semantic Technologies (FAST) project.

Digital music is an important and fast-moving research area. Sophisticated digital tools for the creation, generation and dissemination of music have established clear synergies between music and leisure industries, the use of technology within art, the creative industries and the creative economy. Digital music research is emerging as a "transdiscipline" across the usual academic boundaries of computer science, electronic engineering and music.

Professor De Roure and Pip Willcox also presented two posters, along with other contributors: “Understanding creativity and autonomy in music performance and composition: A proposed ‘toolkit’ for research and design” (link to poster), and “Experimental digital humanities: Creative interventions in algorithmic composition on a hypothetical mechanical computer" (link to poster).

The first proposes the bringing together of a series of tools and methods in order to understand the interplay and interaction between human creativity and 'autonomous' algorithmic systems in respect to performing and composing music. The aim of the paper is to prompt a discussion within the digital music research community, and associated disciplines in order to develop an understanding of some of the issues and debates relating to the area of research and the design of autonomous systems.

The second poses the question: Supposing Charles Babbage had built the Analytical Engine and Ada Lovelace had pursued its potential for musical composition, what music might have she have created?


Read an interview with Dr David Weigl.