A Realtime Generative Music System using Autonomous Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm Agents

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Kinetic Engine is a realtime generative music system that has been in development since 2005. It has been used as an extended instrument within an improvising ensemble, as a networked performance ensemble, as an interactive installation, and as an independent performance system under the composer’s control. The first two versions were solely concerned with polyphonic rhythmic organisation using multi-agents. Version 3 introduced a genetic algorithm for the evolution of a population of rhythms, in realtime, based upon the analysis of music provided. Version 4 explored melodic organisation, again using multi-agents, while the most recent version adds a third order Markov model for harmonic generation. This paper gives an overview of the different versions of the system. Furthermore, the system’s use as a performance instrument, as opposed to an independent installation, will also be discussed, describing the necessary shifts in conception regarding generative algorithms. Finally, an attempt to evaluate the entire system from an artistic, rather than scientific, perspective will be undertaken

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  • Arne Eigenfeldt

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