BYU PhD student creates computer that composes music

When BYU PhD candidate Kristine Monteith was sitting in natural language processing class, it wasn't letter sequences going through her head but music notes. The class was talking about probability in language that helps with speech recognition of knowing what words would come up next. When she did the experiment, "It made me think, oh, you could do the same thing with music," Monteith said.

The Utah State graduate in music therapy pursuing her PhD in computer at BYU decided to apply her right and left brain abilities to combine music and computer science. She invented a computer program that can compose original music that evokes emotions humans can relate with, even though it was generated from a machine. She explained the program follows random notes and plugs in which notes would fit the best.

"Given these three notes, what note is most likely to follow it," Monteith said. "It's random generation. It's starting a new melody every time, but it's based on statistics."

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