Towards a framework for the evaluation of machine compositions

  • Pearce M
  • Wiggins G
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We outline a framework within which machine
compositions may be evaluated objectively. In particular,
the framework allows statements about those compositions
to be refuted on the basis of empirical
experimentation. We consider this to be fundamental if we
wish to evaluate the degree to which our programs achieve
their compositional aims. Furthermore, a review of the
literature reveals that this is a largely ignored aspect
of research into algorithmic composition. Our framework
involves four components: specifying the compositional
aims; inducing a critic from a set of example musical
phrases; composing music that satisfies the critic; and
evaluating specific claims about the compositions in
experiments using human subjects. We describe a system
which exemplifies these four stages and which
demonstrates the practicality of the framework. Finally,
the application of the framework to the evaluation of
musical creativity is discussed and directions for future
research are suggested.

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  • M T Pearce

  • G A Wiggins

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