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P-ART JOURNAL

63

 

The Continuator

 

I've been wanting to realize a marvelous dream for a long time: I would like an intelligent computer tool to control my own musical play, to analyse my accompaniments, to find specific patterns, and to play and improvise with a virtual companion, as if he was actually here.

The Sony Computer Science Laboratory-Paris (SCSL) research team have designed a system, 'the Continuator', that allows musicians to interact with a computer in a new and exciting way, in various modes: continuations of the music played by the user, answers to musical input, or intelligent accompaniments.

'The Continuator' is a system that learns musical styles progressively, and with which you can play interactively. It records what you play, analyses it, and then you can play along. It uses two basic ingredients in real time: a learning system, and a continuation system. The learning system analyses all the phrases / sequences found in a learning corpus (real time Midi input or Midi file) and builds a compact representation of recurrent musical patterns found in these phrases. The continuation system produces continuation of input phrases according to the patterns learnt previously.

Through my movie excerpt ( QTcontinuator1.mov < click and wait for loading 1,2 MB QuickTime Movie), you enter the Pachet's lecture at the ESCOM-Conference (April 2002) in Liège about his demonstration of The Continuator. François Pachet (>email) is the eminent music researcher on The Continuator, and participates to the original Origins Of Music Project. Click here for > Origins Of Music index.

François Pachet, The Continuator: Musical Interaction with Style. In ICMA (ed); Proceedings of ICMC, pages 211-218, September 2002. (ICMA. best paper award)

F. Pachet, Playing with Virtual Musicians: the Continuator in practice. Multimedia, 2002.

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