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[SIGMusic] Melody Generator



Hey Alex / sigMusic list,

Some notes I jotted down while perusing a first year music theory book and fiddling around on a keyboard the last couple of days. I hope the formatting helps make the length bearable, I'm just trying to put everything on the table I've found that we could possibly work with.

  1. Tonality: the melody should create some sort of pull towards a specific pitch (the "tonic"). This can be accomplished by either one or a combination of the following methods: 1) simply referencing the tonic more often than any other pitch, 2) placing the tonic at key points within the passage (such at the beginning, end or any strong metrical point (e.g., downbeats), 3) using other pitches that support and reinforce the tonic harmonically (such as the perfect 5th above or perfect 4th below), or 4) tying pitches that are one step away (usually below) from the tonic in shorter rhythmic phrases (such as a sixteenth note immediately preceding it
  2. Intervals: the use of consonant and dissonant intervals may be an easy way to express peace and struggle accordingly, though these two feelings don't correspond directly with any of our mood parameters (damn human psyche...). Regardless, it'll probably work fine as long as we have other factors to reinforce them. When choosing the next note in the series, the algorithm could adjust the probability of which interval is used according to  the location of the preceding note and the current happiness level (certain intervals may be exclusively reserved for certain emotional state).
  3. Phrasing:

If any of this needs clarifying, let me know. I'm just getting my head around a lot of this music theory jargon myself. Fortunately I've found a pretty good reference, so I could probably elaborate if it'd help.

- Joe