Almost 195 years after Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, a version of his incomplete 10th symphony was premiered – composed by artificial intelligence. The renowned Beethoven Orchestra played the piece on Saturday evening under the direction of their chief conductor Dirk Kaftan in the Telekom Forum in Bonn. The telecommunications company initiated the project.
Artificial intelligence filled the gaps in the symphony
Beethoven was unable to complete the 10th Symphony before his death and only left a few sketches and notes. On this basis, a team of experts, including musicologists and programmers, tried to develop artificial intelligence to fill the gaps. The computer was fed with many other Beethoven pieces, among other things, but also with music by his contemporaries. The goal: to enable the machine to compose like Beethoven.
Collaboration between man and machine
In the end, the AI made suggestions as to how certain positions could be continued. The experts looked at the variants, made a selection and played the decision back into the system.
Those involved emphasized that it was an experiment and not about questioning Beethoven’s uniqueness. Rather, they want to show how creative collaboration between human and artificial intelligence can work.
“The project is a collaboration between man and machine,” said Matthias Röder, director of the Karajan Institute (Salzburg), who headed the AI team, before the premiere. The potential of the technology is fascinating for composers. “You could also combine a Beatles AI with the melodic AI from Mozart – and then write the harmonies yourself. The spectrum of possibilities can be expanded exponentially.”
(SERVICE – videos and live stream for the premiere: https://www.magenta-musik-360.de/)
(APA/red, Photo: APA/EXPA/JOHANN GRODER)