An Evolutionary Music Composer Algorithm for Bass Harmonization

  • Roberto De Prisco
  • Rocco Zaccagnino
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5484)


In this paper we present an automatic Evolutionary Music Composer algorithm and a preliminary prototype software that implements it. The specific music composition problem that we consider is the so called unfigured (or figured) bass problem: a bass line is given (sometimes with information about the chords to use) and the automatic composer has to write other 3 voices to have a complete 4-voice piece of music. By automatic we mean that there must be no human intervention in the composing process. We use a genetic algorithm to tackle the figured bass problem and an ad-hoc algorithm to transform an unfigured bass to a figured bass. In this paper we focus on the genetic algorithm.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Biles, J.A.: GenJam: A genetic algorithm for generating jazz solos. In: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, pp. 131–137 (1994)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cope, D.: Experiments in Musical Intelligence. A-R Editions (1996) ISBN 0895793377Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cope, D.: Virtual Music. MIT Press, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ebcioglu, K.: An expert system for harmonizing four-part chorales. In: Machine models of music, pp. 385–401. MIT Press, Cambridge (1992)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Horner, A., Ayers, L.: Harmonization of musical progression with genetic algorithms. In: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, pp. 483–484 (1995)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Horner, A., Goldberg, D.E.: Genetic algorithms and computer assisted music composition. Technical report, University of Illinois (1991)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jacob, B.L.: Composing with genetic algorithms. Technical report, University of Michigan (1995)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lehmann, D.: Harmonizing melodies in real time: the connectionist approach. In: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Thessaloniki (1997)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    McIntyre, R.A.: Bach in a box: The evolution of four-part baroque harmony using a genetic algorithm. In: First IEEE Conference on Evolutionary Computation, pp. 852–857 (1994)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Phon-Amnuaisuk, S., Winnings, G.: The four-part harmonization problem: a comparison between genetic algorithms and rule-based system. In: Proceedings of the AISB 1999 Symposium on Musical Creativity, pp. 28–34 (1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wiggins, G., Papadopoulos, G., Phon-Amnuaisuk, S., Tuson, A.: Evolutionary methods for musical composition. International Journal of Computing Anticipatory Systems (1999)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schottstaedt, B.: Automatic species counterpoint. Tech. Rep. STAN-M-19, Stanford University CCRMA. In: Mathews, Pierce (eds.) A short report appeared in Current Directions in Computer Music Research. MIT Press, Cambridge (1989)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto De Prisco
    • 1
  • Rocco Zaccagnino
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Informatica ed ApplicazioniUniversità di SalernoBaronissi (SA)Italy

Personalised recommendations