Seminatural Composition

Part of the Computational Music Science book series (CMS)


Music composition can be natural, artificial, or seminatural. The first category refers to a composition where a human being decides both what to play (or sing) as well as how to. The second refers to a composition where a mechanical device such as a computer is trained to accomplish both the what and the how part. The third category is of interest here in which the computer will decide the what part, while a human being will take up the how part. Consider a music composer interested in composing a raga-based song. He is looking for the starting line or a clue for the next line. Can computer help? We answer this question through seminatural composition giving an example in raga Bhimpalashree. Seminatural composition was introduced in Chakraborty et al. (2009) and is discussed more formally in Chakraborty et al. (2011) recently. However, for the sake of completeness, we are providing below the algorithm seminatural composition algorithm (SNCA) after which the illustrative example will follow. For an extensive literature on algorithmic composition, the reader is referred to Nierhaus (2008).


Markov Chain Probability Density Function Extensive Literature Transition Probability Matrix Mechanical Device 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  3. S. Chakraborty, M. Kalita, N. Kumari, Semi-natural composition. An experiment with North Indian ragas. Int. J. Comput. Cognit. 9(2), 51–55 (2011)Google Scholar
  4. D. Dutta, Sangeet Tattwa, 5th edn., vol. 1 (Brati Prakashani, 2006) (in Bengali) (Kolkata, India)Google Scholar
  5. G. Nierhaus, Algorithmic Composition: Paradigms of Automated Music Generation, 1st edn. (Springer, Heidelberg, 2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsBirla Institute of Technology (BIT), MesraRanchiIndia
  2. 2.School of MusicUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Dept. of Computer ApplicationsNetaji Subhash Engineering Coll (NSEC)KolkataIndia

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