Amy K. Hoover, Paul A. Szerlip, and Kenneth O. Stanley (2013)
Implications from Music Generation for Music Appreciation
To appear in: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC-2013, Sydney, Australia).


This position paper argues that fundamental principles that are exploited to achieve effective music generation can also shed light on the elusive question of why humans appreciate music, and which music is easiest to appreciate.  In particular, we highlight the key principle behind an existing approach to assisted accompaniment generation called functional scaffolding for musical composition (FSMC).  In this approach, accompaniment is generated as a function of the preexisting parts.  The success of this idea at generating plausible accompaniment according to studies with human participants suggests that perceiving a functional relationship among parts in a composition may be essential to the appreciation of music in general.  This insight is intriguing because it can help to explain without any appeal to traditional music theory why humans with no knowledge or training in music can nevertheless find satisfaction in coherent musical structure.