Interfaces for Improvising with a Jazz Melody Generation System

TitleInterfaces for Improvising with a Jazz Melody Generation System
Publication TypeMaster Thesis
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMunday, J.
AbstractComputational models of melody can provide expert knowledge to novices, allowing for access to musical creativity without the need for extensive formal training. This thesis attempts to demonstrate that melody creation and composition can be computationally modelled, and documents the development of an interactive model of jazz melody generation intended to be used in a live performance context. By incorporating a melody generation system, developed using variable order Markov chains, which takes into account the harmonic context at each moment, relevant and stylistically consistent note suggestions are delivered to a user in real time. Focussing on jazz melodies specifically, two prospective interfaces were developed that allow a performer interact and direct the melody generation in collaboration with the system, allowing for live performance. Real world instrument metaphors were eschewed in favour of novel interfaces that deal with the affordances of readily available technology, such as touch screen devices. Both computational and human evaluation of the melodic output of the system are proposed, along with user testing in order to review both the musical and performance aspects of the system.