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E. What Is Musical Style?

Narrator: This is Science Today. Composer David Cope of the University of California, Santa Cruz has created a computer program that composes original music in the styles of many different composers. It's called EMI, for Experiments in Musical Intelligence. In writing EMI, Cope was forced to grapple with the question, what is musical style?

Cope: I discovered in this project that not many people have tried to grapple with that particular subject. It's very esoteric, it's very hard to understand musical style. We generally talk about it in generalizations that really don't mean anything. EMI's suggesting that there are some deep reasons why Bach sounds like Bach and why Mozart sounds like Mozart, and I think that's important to the study of music and to the study of musicology.

Narrator: Right now, Cope is designing a new work station that other composers can use. They'll continue to compose music just as they have in the past.

Cope: At the same time they'll have this sort of partner that will work with them and be able to produce very quickly for them, almost in real time, a continuance of the music they're writing, or a whole new piece or pieces.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.