DarwinTunes Evolves MusicCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: June 20, 2012 04:07PM
What makes a song popular? Is it the creativity of the composer to develop something new that people enjoy or does the popularity of specific musical elements dictate what full songs and pieces rise to the top? Researchers at Imperial College London decided to look into this through the eyes of evolution.
The basic concept to evolution is fairly simple. Variations within a population can cause a specific entity to be more successful, less successful, or have their success unchanged, and only the successful variations are able to be passed to future generations. Applying evolution to music would mean it is only the music with the most successful elements that are the most popular. To test this, the researchers created DarwinTunes, a computer program which has people rate eight second long loops of music. The most highly rated loops were then 'mated' to produce new loops that combine the elements of their parents. These multiple generations of music were then posted for rating purposes again, but this time to see if later generations were preferred to the older generations. In validation of the researchers' theory, the newer generations were rated more highly than their predecessors.
DarwinTunes has already completed more than 3500 generations of music and is still going. If you would like to help it produce new generations or just download some of what it has already produced, check out DarwinTunes.org.