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Jun 24, 2018

Amadeus Code is an artificial intelligence-powered songwriting assistant. The technology is a new approach that breaks centuries of melodies down into their constituent parts (“licks”) and transforms them into data. By eschewing more traditional methods of musical information transfer--the score and MIDI, for example--Japanese researchers have created a system to generate the kind of endless stream of melody Mozart proclaimed ran through his head.

Composers, producers, and songwriters now have the distilled praxis of thousands of artists and composers dating back to the 17th century, at their fingertips, with the new Amadeus Code melody-maker app.

The app lets users adjust the AI-generated songs in a wide variety of ways. You can limit the era of the melodies it draws on--even projecting possible future hits by setting the parameter to 20xx. You can try more sustained notes or go for rapid-fire staccato. You can play around with lines that sound familiar, using the most common pop song patterns, or that veer off into wild and unexpected places, drawing on less popular approaches.

Once you hear something you like, you can save the entire song or pop out a section, asking the app to regenerate a new song based on that piece. “You can put together a collection of melodies that you connect with in your Song Library,” explains Fukuyama. “Then you can export them as audio and MIDI files to your favorite recording or production software and play around with them a bit more.”

These nuggets may inspire a new twist or turn in a song when you’re stuck. Or they may get you writing something in a whole new style. “We see this as a way musicians, songwriters, and producers can seek inspiration from some of the best songs in history,” says Fukuyama.

“This experience taught me that there was a lot in common between songwriting processes and genetic evolutionary processes,” reflects Inoue. “It convinced me that the feeling that encourages musicians to write songs was essentially the same as humankind’s urges to share and change, and thus ensure high-quality evolution. This astounding fact is one of the things that I want to share with everyone.”