Utilizing an algorithm, a computer-generated jazz improvisation was created in the form of a melody over a walking bass line. I surprising found it very pleasing to listen to in comparison to what I would expect a computer to compose as it lacks humanity and emotion which is essential for music, composition, and art. It also sounds like jazz music as the interaction between the progression of chords and melody emulate works of famous jazz artists.
Although it is undeniably jazz improvisation, I felt that it lacked variation in both rhythm, range, and complexity. As a classically trained music performance major, I do not know everything there is to know about the genre of jazz, but when I listen to improvisation, it is not typically just straight triplets and quarter notes. In live improvisation, there is customarily some aspect of “extended techniques” (an unconventional method of playing an instrument such as glissando or pizzicato on a string instrument) utilized in the performance. That said, this is one of the reasons why performers, composers, and artists can never be replaced by solely technology as it lacks the innate creativity and range of emotions humans possess.
The description of the video gives a brief explanation of the code and how it operates. The author of the program set pre-defined chord changes to occur which is the basis of jazz music. I also suppose that the author preset most of the rhythms as there is not much variety. I believe the algorithm provided a set number of notes to choose from depending on each chord. The computer most likely randomly selected notes to play on the preset rhythm in some order. Overall, it is amazing to see what kind of art can be partially generated by artificial intelligence, although I do not believe it will ever be enough to completely replace an artist’s craft.