A new smartphone app from researchers at Queen Mary, University of London will lend a helping a hand to all aspiring DJs and musicians by letting anyone create their own musical mash-ups with the aid of some talented artificial intelligence.
The Melody Triangle app, launched Thursday 28 March, will collect data for use in a live research experiment. The app will observe the kinds of melodies users tend to create and help scientists answer questions about musical taste and aesthetics. It will also enable users to 'like' their favourite tracks – the most loved tracks will be ranked for everyone to hear.
PhD student, Henrik Ekeus from Queen Mary's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, said: "I'm interested in finding out what it is that makes some music more engaging than others, and one small part of the puzzle has to do with understanding the role of predictability in music. Do people prefer repetitive musical patterns or do they like to have variety in their music? And if so how much? If it is easy to predict the next note of a melody, does it make the melody boring or satisfying? The data collected from the users of the Melody Triangle app will help us answer these questions."
Listen to an audio sample:
Using artificial intelligence theory and technology from QM's Centre for Digital Music, the team have created Melody Triangle which lets anyone - even non-musicians - make music on their Android mobile phone.
The user can create an infinite combination of rhythms and melodies, choosing between drums, piano and bass sounds. The triangle is the interface to clever bits of artificial intelligence that picks notes for the user, which they can vary by dragging tokens around the screen. The app is free to download and is intuitive to use, and enables even non-musicians to make their own compositions.
Professor Peter McOwan, Vice-Principal for Public Engagement and External Partnerships and co-founder of QApps, said: "Making music on the move is set to become easier with Melody Triangle. This is another exciting app from QApps using innovative research from Queen Mary that makes science even more fun for everyone to explore."
The Melody Triangle app is a product of the project Information Dynamics of Music, which explores how mathematical techniques can be used to characterise aspects of the music listening experience. It was developed by QApps, Queen Mary's ground-breaking app development venture, which aims to turn cutting edge research and expertise into useful and exciting smartphone technology, and supported by ImpactQM, a three-year research project funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
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More information: Download the free app: www.qappsonline.com/apps/melody-triangle/.
Find out more about QApps.
Read more about how Melody Triangle works on Computer Science For Fun.