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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:32 am 
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I'm not 100% sure what's going on here, but it appears someone has used the software at this site

https://folkrnn.org/

To generate tunes more or less in the genre of ITM. Then as far as I can tell the person imported them into a daw, fiddled with the timing, mapped the midi to pipes, e voila:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiqOc3WQ_I0

The folkrnn site seems to draw on the abc tune database at thesession.org. I tried it myself, generating a tune and then importing it into the DAW and messing with the timing. I could make it better but not as effective in GarageBand. Trying it in LogicPro would be more revealing.


The website associated with the YouTube channel, irishabc.com, is not working, but the YouTube channel has other examples. Does anyone know more about this project?

Personally I think this is fascinating but not surprising. Putting aside for the moment whether or not the tunes generated sound convincing or good, it's interesting to think about the ITM tradition as itself a "neural net." You have tunes mostly learned by ear, with multiple names and multiple variations, built out of a vocabulary of musical moves that mark the tune as "irish." The origin of any tune matters less than the practice of playing it


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:46 am 
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A similar experiment described here:

https://kth.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1248565/FULLTEXT02.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:48 am 
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This might be of interest:
https://thesession.org/discussions/37800

More specifically, this:
https://thesession.org/discussions/42712

And especially this, which is real musicians playing computer generated tunes (I have an intense dislike of anything midi generated):
https://soundcloud.com/oconaillfamilyandfriends


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:32 pm 
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PB+J wrote:

That's the thing about midi generation: seldom does it not come across as stilted somehow. But putting that (and the dancing fishing lures) aside, I have to say that for "Irishness", the melodic content impressed me favorably indeed. Had I not known that they were composed by software, I would have presumed the tunes were the result of not only human, but experienced, authorship.

NicoMoreno wrote:
And especially this, which is real musicians playing computer generated tunes (I have an intense dislike of anything midi generated):
https://soundcloud.com/oconaillfamilyandfriends

I'll be darned. It does work, doesn't it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:49 pm 
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This sounds so robotic to me. I wish I had heard it first then run into the conversation. I am sure I would have disliked it without knowing of its mechanical origin. But could I have discerned it? It sounds like many well meaning offerings I click on YouTube and abandon after 15 seconds.

I don't feel the lilt, though they did try hard on the swing. It felt more like a Highland Pipe marching band than Trad.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:01 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
It felt more like a Highland Pipe marching band than Trad.

Which recording are you talking about?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:09 pm 
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This interesting thing to me is that for the most part the tunes are already part of a neural net. They have no known author, the titles have little or no relationship to the song’s musical content, for example “the fermoy lasses” is also "The Connaught Rangers." The two things could hardly be more different.




The ones played by People didn’t sound at all robotic to me


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Here's another description

https://aiweirdness.com/post/1719316783 ... rish-music

Here's the guy playing the computer-generated "bat in the hat"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... U5RXpvCySo

It's very interesting--the machine is basically "tripping to the well" of Irish tunes. I think I could argue so what, in the sense that a computer could learn to ride a bike but why would that change desire to ride a bike? Making music is already an anachronistic activity: making ITM even more so. It's not about efficiency or practicality or making the big bucks. So the fact that a computer can do it doesn't change much: the tunes live in performance anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:57 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
... the tunes live in performance anyway.

A céilí might be one thing, but for the stage I foresee a drawback: You have nothing to regale your audience with. It may not mean something to everyone when you say a tune's by Ed Reavy, but people expect it, and how you go about it is part of your stage presence; if you have an amusing anecdote to go with it, so much the better. I think you could get away with one set of CG tunes for novelty's sake - you would certainly have the audience's skeptical attention beforehand, or you could freak them out with the revelation after the set was performed - but how many times can you announce sets including CG tunes before people start wondering where your personal commitments lie? So no matter how good the tunes are, I think there's a certain difficulty that presents itself.

And couldn't I use the program to plagiarize CG tunes, making a name for myself on no merit?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:28 am 
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The process might be a nice to have availability and perhaps an archive of some sort, however computer generated Irish music leaves out the "experience," or rather the aesthetic moment. The encounter and engagement of musicians, humans, in performance with spontaneity of audience to the music. Its the old triangle dynamic of artist/artwork/audience that makes the experience what it is... a moment, a human moment. And the experience doesn't have to be a stage worthy performance, yet, it may play out in much smaller encounters such as pubs, kitchens, or even on the streets. Families, friends, or peoples in however a small number together gain the experience of human contact which the robotics and machine generated music completely eliminates. Yes, having an amusing anecdote to go along with the tune(s) adds so much to the experience and builds lasting memories to be enjoyed, recalled, passed along to others connecting one another in the human archive.

Here is an example of the human experience appropriate for today, June 6, 2019. No computer is going to generate that experience.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfound ... sjdDqHtOIc

For now I'm ready to unplug it all and go play some traditional tunes with friends now so go have a nice day folks. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:41 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
...computer generated Irish music leaves out the "experience," or rather the aesthetic moment. The encounter and engagement of musicians, humans, in performance with spontaneity of audience to the music.

Well, you could say the same thing about human-composed tunes rendered in midi format. You could say the same thing about sheet music. The CG tunes are simply tunes that happen to be generated (composed, if you like) by a program; it is not a given that they must therefore be played only electronically - that is not the meaning of "generated", here - and there's certainly nothing to stop humans from learning and playing them, as is amply demonstrated in the Soundcloud link where they're being played by real, live, experienced people on real Trad instruments, and in quite a satisfying way at that. The aesthetic moment is entirely there, and the CG tune structures are so spot-on Trad that you can almost smell the crubeens. Seriously, you wouldn't know they were CG if you weren't told. If the tunes were inauthentic-sounding, I daresay the musicians wouldn't have wasted their time on them.

I'm beginning to suspect that people who say it sounds robotic and lacking in humanity haven't even listened to the Soundcloud link. If you take it upon yourselves to bother, I think you'll be surprised. I was.

My issue is more with the question of how we judge the worth of such tunes. Are we to value an insentient program equally with human sweat and inspiration? Are we to say that beauty is its own justification, regardless? Should it even matter? That's the elephant in the room, and I don't have any ready insights. In the end it depends on you. I suppose that some CG tunes might even get adopted naturally into the Tradition, but I'm suspecting that no matter how good they are - and some are downright delightful - so long as they are known to be CG tunes they will more likely be held at arm's length, but it would be on general principle, as the tunes themselves do indeed pass muster on their own merits. That is part of my reason for pointing out, earlier, the potential for plagiarism, because now there is no guarantee that the next new tune you hear and like will really have the human authorship it's purported to have.

So while I'm greatly impressed by the results - no issues there - I'm also faced with existential reservations about their currency.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:54 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
PB+J wrote:
... the tunes live in performance anyway.

A céilí might be one thing, but for the stage I foresee a drawback: You have nothing to regale your audience with. It may not mean something to everyone when you say a tune's by Ed Reavy, but people expect it, and how you go about it is part of your stage presence; if you have an amusing anecdote to go with it, so much the better. I think you could get away with one set of CG tunes for novelty's sake - you would certainly have the audience's skeptical attention beforehand, or you could freak them out with the revelation after the set was performed - but how many times can you announce sets including CG tunes before people start wondering where your personal commitments lie? So no matter how good the tunes are, I think there's a certain difficulty that presents itself.

And couldn't I use the program to plagiarize CG tunes, making a name for myself on no merit?


You could regale your audience with stories about the operating system, and how balky and eccentric the server was, and how the software would never do what you wanted. Throw in some stories about the copier and the printer, and everyone could relate! :pint:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:19 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
busterbill wrote:
It felt more like a Highland Pipe marching band than Trad.

Which recording are you talking about?

I listened to the link we were directed to in the original post.

No-- it doesn't have the volume of a piping band so my comment may be confusing. I think I was picking up on the evenness of the beat. It made me want to march, not necessarily dance.

Here in Chicago we've a lot of experiences with the great Shannon Rovers in parades and funerals. They do a wonderful job with that foundational evenness. Sure, in this recording there is no booming bass drum, nor obvious highland piping, but the unrelenting evenness is present as the foundational heartbeat so critical to marching. (You don't want a marching band scampering about after all.)

One evening last winter a large contingent of the Shannon Rovers dropped by the Thursday night session at the Irish Heritage Center here in Chicago after their rehearsal upstairs. They are an Irish Pipe Band that play the Highland pipes. They gave us a great selection of tunes with at least 15 players and two bass drums playing full bore.

I realize there is are a number of styles of Highland piping, so my comment can be confusing. I was thinking of the marching band variety, and this one in particular since it is the one I am the most exposed to.

For some reason, while listening to that computer generated link, their visit was the first live music association I came up with. And it jumped out to me in an instant.

While the recording presented had none of the volume or even the instruments present, the basic bottom line feeling of the rhythmic foundation led to an association in my mind. It was a gut thing.

Sort of like hearing players from a symphonic orchestra playing The Irish Washerwoman, it was just too darn even. Feel free to disagree. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:54 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
Sort of like hearing players from a symphonic orchestra playing The Irish Washerwoman, it was just too darn even. Feel free to disagree. :D

I don't disagree at all. But I also think there are two camps here in this thread that are talking past each other. My focus has been on melodic structures, but others are focusing on delivery systems. I have always disliked midi formats without exception, but OTOH I've learned to divorce myself from that aversion when analyzing a tune on its own merits, and it is the tunes themselves, independent of their delivery, that I am concerned with - not whether they are played by midi or human. I couldn't care less that the clip in question sounds wooden; it's to be expected. It's a midi, after all. So for me, picking that apart is like beating a decades-dead horse. When I hear a midi, I instead hear the tune's potential beyond its format. Thus, melodic integrity as relates to the Trad idiom is all I've been measuring here - nothing else - and to my ear the CG program has delivered remarkably well.

Have you listened to the Soundcloud link yet? No midis there.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:05 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
busterbill wrote:
Sort of like hearing players from a symphonic orchestra playing The Irish Washerwoman, it was just too darn even. Feel free to disagree. :D

I don't disagree at all. But I also think there are two camps here in this thread that are talking past each other. My focus has been on melodic structures, but others are focusing on delivery systems. I have always disliked midi formats without exception, but OTOH I've learned to divorce myself from that aversion when analyzing a tune on its own merits, and it is the tunes themselves, independent of their delivery, that I am concerned with - not whether they are played by midi or human. I couldn't care less that the clip in question sounds wooden; it's to be expected. It's a midi, after all. So for me, picking that apart is like beating a decades-dead horse. When I hear a midi, I instead hear the tune's potential beyond its format. Thus, melodic integrity as relates to the Trad idiom is all I've been measuring here - nothing else - and to my ear the CG program has delivered remarkably well.

Have you listened to the Soundcloud link yet? No midis there.



Yes I agree completely with this. It’s the tunes it’s generated, not the midi performance, which is lacking in the way midi is usually lacking.


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