Computer-generated movie scores

It strikes me that an interesting piece of software would be some kind of fully automated movie soundtrack generator. This would be a program which could compose a movie score simply by “watching” the movie.

How would this work? Well, first of all the software would need the ability to compose music. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there are currently software programs writing award-winning music. Basically, the software just needs to know all the “rules” of music — the various available chord progressions, what chord does this chord usually go to, how do you establish tonality etc.

By analyzing the motion on the screen, I think software could then compose appropriate music. A scene with a lot of movement and fast cutaways would obviously need fast, jarring music. A scene of two idiots in love, walking along a river would need serene, calm music.

There’s still a few problems. For example, you could have a scene of two people walking along the river and in one case the guy is breaking up with the chick because she’s too needy and boring in bed, but you could also have a very similar scene where the guy is expressing his undying devotion to this woman. Obviously these two scenes would require different kinds of scores. I would put forth the idea that the software could perform some language analysis to design these scores correctly. If you hear a lot of stuff like, “I love you,” “not as much as I love you!” you know a happy score is appropriate.

Obviously this sort of thing is a long way off, but if anybody ever does design it, I clearly deserve 10% of all royalties because I took the time to write this blog post.

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