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"music generation": models, code, and papers

Flat latent manifolds for music improvisation between human and machine

Feb 23, 2022
Nutan Chen, Djalel Benbouzid, Francesco Ferroni, Mathis Nitschke, Luciano Pinna, Patrick van der Smagt

The use of machine learning in artistic music generation leads to controversial discussions of the quality of art, for which objective quantification is nonsensical. We therefore consider a music-generating algorithm as a counterpart to a human musician, in a setting where reciprocal improvisation is to lead to new experiences, both for the musician and the audience. To obtain this behaviour, we resort to the framework of recurrent Variational Auto-Encoders (VAE) and learn to generate music, seeded by a human musician. In the learned model, we generate novel musical sequences by interpolation in latent space. Standard VAEs however do not guarantee any form of smoothness in their latent representation. This translates into abrupt changes in the generated music sequences. To overcome these limitations, we regularise the decoder and endow the latent space with a flat Riemannian manifold, i.e., a manifold that is isometric to the Euclidean space. As a result, linearly interpolating in the latent space yields realistic and smooth musical changes that fit the type of machine--musician interactions we aim for. We provide empirical evidence for our method via a set of experiments on music datasets and we deploy our model for an interactive jam session with a professional drummer. The live performance provides qualitative evidence that the latent representation can be intuitively interpreted and exploited by the drummer to drive the interplay. Beyond the musical application, our approach showcases an instance of human-centred design of machine-learning models, driven by interpretability and the interaction with the end user.

* 17 pages 

Lead Sheet Generation and Arrangement by Conditional Generative Adversarial Network

Jul 30, 2018
Hao-Min Liu, Yi-Hsuan Yang

Research on automatic music generation has seen great progress due to the development of deep neural networks. However, the generation of multi-instrument music of arbitrary genres still remains a challenge. Existing research either works on lead sheets or multi-track piano-rolls found in MIDIs, but both musical notations have their limits. In this work, we propose a new task called lead sheet arrangement to avoid such limits. A new recurrent convolutional generative model for the task is proposed, along with three new symbolic-domain harmonic features to facilitate learning from unpaired lead sheets and MIDIs. Our model can generate lead sheets and their arrangements of eight-bar long. Audio samples of the generated result can be found at

* 7 pages, 7 figures and 4 tables 

Generating Lead Sheets with Affect: A Novel Conditional seq2seq Framework

Apr 27, 2021
Dimos Makris, Kat R. Agres, Dorien Herremans

The field of automatic music composition has seen great progress in the last few years, much of which can be attributed to advances in deep neural networks. There are numerous studies that present different strategies for generating sheet music from scratch. The inclusion of high-level musical characteristics (e.g., perceived emotional qualities), however, as conditions for controlling the generation output remains a challenge. In this paper, we present a novel approach for calculating the valence (the positivity or negativity of the perceived emotion) of a chord progression within a lead sheet, using pre-defined mood tags proposed by music experts. Based on this approach, we propose a novel strategy for conditional lead sheet generation that allows us to steer the music generation in terms of valence, phrasing, and time signature. Our approach is similar to a Neural Machine Translation (NMT) problem, as we include high-level conditions in the encoder part of the sequence-to-sequence architectures used (i.e., long-short term memory networks, and a Transformer network). We conducted experiments to thoroughly analyze these two architectures. The results show that the proposed strategy is able to generate lead sheets in a controllable manner, resulting in distributions of musical attributes similar to those of the training dataset. We also verified through a subjective listening test that our approach is effective in controlling the valence of a generated chord progression.

* Accepted for the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN), Shenzhen, China, 18-22 July 2021 (virtual) 

Explicitly Conditioned Melody Generation: A Case Study with Interdependent RNNs

Jul 10, 2019
Benjamin Genchel, Ashis Pati, Alexander Lerch

Deep generative models for symbolic music are typically designed to model temporal dependencies in music so as to predict the next musical event given previous events. In many cases, such models are expected to learn abstract concepts such as harmony, meter, and rhythm from raw musical data without any additional information. In this study, we investigate the effects of explicitly conditioning deep generative models with musically relevant information. Specifically, we study the effects of four different conditioning inputs on the performance of a recurrent monophonic melody generation model. Several combinations of these conditioning inputs are used to train different model variants which are then evaluated using three objective evaluation paradigms across two genres of music. The results indicate musically relevant conditioning significantly improves learning and performance, and reveal how this information affects learning of musical features related to pitch and rhythm. An informal subjective evaluation suggests a corresponding improvement in the aesthetic quality of generations.

* In Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Musical Meta-creation (MUME). Charlotte, North Carolina 2019 

Audeo: Audio Generation for a Silent Performance Video

Jun 23, 2020
Kun Su, Xiulong Liu, Eli Shlizerman

We present a novel system that gets as an input video frames of a musician playing the piano and generates the music for that video. Generation of music from visual cues is a challenging problem and it is not clear whether it is an attainable goal at all. Our main aim in this work is to explore the plausibility of such a transformation and to identify cues and components able to carry the association of sounds with visual events. To achieve the transformation we built a full pipeline named `\textit{Audeo}' containing three components. We first translate the video frames of the keyboard and the musician hand movements into raw mechanical musical symbolic representation Piano-Roll (Roll) for each video frame which represents the keys pressed at each time step. We then adapt the Roll to be amenable for audio synthesis by including temporal correlations. This step turns out to be critical for meaningful audio generation. As a last step, we implement Midi synthesizers to generate realistic music. \textit{Audeo} converts video to audio smoothly and clearly with only a few setup constraints. We evaluate \textit{Audeo} on `in the wild' piano performance videos and obtain that their generated music is of reasonable audio quality and can be successfully recognized with high precision by popular music identification software.

* Please see associated video at 

Continuous Melody Generation via Disentangled Short-Term Representations and Structural Conditions

Feb 05, 2020
Ke Chen, Gus Xia, Shlomo Dubnov

Automatic music generation is an interdisciplinary research topic that combines computational creativity and semantic analysis of music to create automatic machine improvisations. An important property of such a system is allowing the user to specify conditions and desired properties of the generated music. In this paper we designed a model for composing melodies given a user specified symbolic scenario combined with a previous music context. We add manual labeled vectors denoting external music quality in terms of chord function that provides a low dimensional representation of the harmonic tension and resolution. Our model is capable of generating long melodies by regarding 8-beat note sequences as basic units, and shares consistent rhythm pattern structure with another specific song. The model contains two stages and requires separate training where the first stage adopts a Conditional Variational Autoencoder (C-VAE) to build a bijection between note sequences and their latent representations, and the second stage adopts long short-term memory networks (LSTM) with structural conditions to continue writing future melodies. We further exploit the disentanglement technique via C-VAE to allow melody generation based on pitch contour information separately from conditioning on rhythm patterns. Finally, we evaluate the proposed model using quantitative analysis of rhythm and the subjective listening study. Results show that the music generated by our model tends to have salient repetition structures, rich motives, and stable rhythm patterns. The ability to generate longer and more structural phrases from disentangled representations combined with semantic scenario specification conditions shows a broad application of our model.

* 9 pages, 12 figures, 4 tables. in 14th international conference on semantic computing, ICSC 2020 

Music Transformer

Oct 10, 2018
Cheng-Zhi Anna Huang, Ashish Vaswani, Jakob Uszkoreit, Noam Shazeer, Ian Simon, Curtis Hawthorne, Andrew M. Dai, Matthew D. Hoffman, Monica Dinculescu, Douglas Eck

Music relies heavily on repetition to build structure and meaning. Self-reference occurs on multiple timescales, from motifs to phrases to reusing of entire sections of music, such as in pieces with ABA structure. The Transformer (Vaswani et al., 2017), a sequence model based on self-attention, has achieved compelling results in many generation tasks that require maintaining long-range coherence. This suggests that self-attention might also be well-suited to modeling music. In musical composition and performance, however, relative timing is critically important. Existing approaches for representing relative positional information in the Transformer modulate attention based on pairwise distance (Shaw et al., 2018). This is impractical for long sequences such as musical compositions since their memory complexity is quadratic in the sequence length. We propose an algorithm that reduces the intermediate memory requirements to linear in the sequence length. This enables us to demonstrate that a Transformer with our modified relative attention mechanism can generate minute-long (thousands of steps) compositions with compelling structure, generate continuations that coherently elaborate on a given motif, and in a seq2seq setup generate accompaniments conditioned on melodies. We evaluate the Transformer with our relative attention mechanism on two datasets, JSB Chorales and Piano-e-competition, and obtain state-of-the-art results on the latter.

* Rewrote many sections to clarify the work, and extended relative attention to the local case. Previous title is "An Improved Relative Self-Attention Mechanism for Transformer with Application to Music Generation" 

Music2Dance: DanceNet for Music-driven Dance Generation

Mar 10, 2020
Wenlin Zhuang, Congyi Wang, Siyu Xia, Jinxiang Chai, Yangang Wang

Synthesize human motions from music, i.e., music to dance, is appealing and attracts lots of research interests in recent years. It is challenging due to not only the requirement of realistic and complex human motions for dance, but more importantly, the synthesized motions should be consistent with the style, rhythm and melody of the music. In this paper, we propose a novel autoregressive generative model, DanceNet, to take the style, rhythm and melody of music as the control signals to generate 3D dance motions with high realism and diversity. To boost the performance of our proposed model, we capture several synchronized music-dance pairs by professional dancers, and build a high-quality music-dance pair dataset. Experiments have demonstrated that the proposed method can achieve the state-of-the-art results.

* Our results are shown at 

cMelGAN: An Efficient Conditional Generative Model Based on Mel Spectrograms

May 15, 2022
Tracy Qian, Jackson Kaunismaa, Tony Chung

Analysing music in the field of machine learning is a very difficult problem with numerous constraints to consider. The nature of audio data, with its very high dimensionality and widely varying scales of structure, is one of the primary reasons why it is so difficult to model. There are many applications of machine learning in music, like the classifying the mood of a piece of music, conditional music generation, or popularity prediction. The goal for this project was to develop a genre-conditional generative model of music based on Mel spectrograms and evaluate its performance by comparing it to existing generative music models that use note-based representations. We initially implemented an autoregressive, RNN-based generative model called MelNet . However, due to its slow speed and low fidelity output, we decided to create a new, fully convolutional architecture that is based on the MelGAN [4] and conditional GAN architectures, called cMelGAN.


Music transcription modelling and composition using deep learning

Apr 29, 2016
Bob L. Sturm, João Felipe Santos, Oded Ben-Tal, Iryna Korshunova

We apply deep learning methods, specifically long short-term memory (LSTM) networks, to music transcription modelling and composition. We build and train LSTM networks using approximately 23,000 music transcriptions expressed with a high-level vocabulary (ABC notation), and use them to generate new transcriptions. Our practical aim is to create music transcription models useful in particular contexts of music composition. We present results from three perspectives: 1) at the population level, comparing descriptive statistics of the set of training transcriptions and generated transcriptions; 2) at the individual level, examining how a generated transcription reflects the conventions of a music practice in the training transcriptions (Celtic folk); 3) at the application level, using the system for idea generation in music composition. We make our datasets, software and sound examples open and available: \url{}.

* 16 pages, 4 figures, contribution to 1st Conference on Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity