The Latest About it – Artificial Intelligence and His Tenth Symphony
German composer, Ludwig van Beethoven left a few notes about his Tenth Symphony before he died in 1827.
There are musicologists and programmers who are competing to create their own version of the piece using artificial intelligence, before his 250th birthday next year.
Christine Siegert, the head of archives at Bonn, where Beethoven lived, said, “The progress has been impressive, even if the computer still has a lot to learn.”
Ms Siegert said that Beethoven would give his approval since he was also an innovator during that time, creating compositions that can be used for the panharmonicon – an organ that can reproduce wind and percussion instrument sounds.
In addition, she reiterated that this not going to have an impact on the legacy of Beethoven because it will not be considered as his oeuvre.
The outcome of the Project
The project’s result will take place in Bonn on April 28, which is going to be a full orchestra performance. This will become a celebration of centrepieces for Beethoven, who is significant in the romantic era.
Beethoven is so loved in Germany that a task to prepare for his anniversary has been written into governing coalition agreements in 2013.
The celebration years started last December 16 – which was his 249th birthday – with his home being opened as a museum in Bonn after undergoing a lot of renovation.
Scope for Improvement
Beethoven started to work on his Tenth Symphony together with his Ninth, which includes “Ode to Joy”, his world-famous piece.
However, he gave up on the tenth quickly and left only a couple of drafts and notes before he died at the age of 57.
While making the project, they fed a machine-learning software all of Beethoven’s creations and is currently composing all the symphony’s possible continuations based on his style.
Artificial Intelligence Project Sponsorship
Deutsche Telekom is the project sponsor, and it hopes to utilize the findings in order to develop technology like voice recognition.
The team indicated that the initial results a couple of months ago were said to be too mechanical and repetitive, but AI’s latest compositions look more promising.
Barry Cooper, the British composer and musicologist, who composed a hypothetical first movement used in 1988’s Tenth Symphony, had more doubts.
“I listened to a short excerpt that has been created. It did not sound remotely like a convincing reconstruction of what Beethoven intended,” said Cooper, who authored several works about Beethoven and a University of Manchester professor.
“There is, however, the scope for improvement with further work.”
Professor Cooper gave a warning: “in any performance of Beethoven’s music, there is a risk of distorting his intentions” but this case was very particular in the case of the Tenth Symphony because Beethoven only left a fragment of his material.
The similar AI experiments that were based on the works of Mahler, Bach, and Schubert were not so impressive.
A project conducted during early 2019 to complete the Eighth Symphony of Schubert was said to be like an American film soundtrack based on the statements of reviewers compared to his work.