Open Source Lead Sheet, Improv Tool, a Free Band-in-a-Box Alternative

Ask a machine to emulate human creativity, and at the very least, you’re guaranteed to learn something. Modeling creative rules and intuitive algorithms as generative code is itself an eminently human activity – think of it as interactive theory. And where the computer fails to sound like a human, you learn something, too. Improv-Visor is an artificially-intelligent jazz improviser tool, but it’s quite a lot more. It can be used to make lead sheets, to experiment with jazz harmonies and solos, and – by asking human students to fill in their own parts – a teaching tool. It continues some …

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GarageBand ‘09 Celebrity Lessons, US$4.99; But How to Really Learn to Play Music?

Photo: transcribed solos by Jamie Aebersold. Not high-tech, but invaluable. Now, let’s hope Apple’s latest is just the tip of the offering for tools to help make us better musicians. Photo here, below (CC) naturalkinds. What’s the biggest obstacle in music making? For most people, it’s basic musicianship. I’m not at the Macworld keynote, but the well-done TUAW liveblog tells me that Apple has in fact offered a product hoping to solve that. GarageBand ‘09 will come with built-in musical training, with add-on “celebrity” training packs for US$4.99 each. It’s great news, but it also makes me hopeful that the …

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