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E. Turning Noodles Into Music

Narrator: This is Science Today. Composer David Cope of the University of California, Santa Cruz has written a computer program called EMI, for Experiments in Musical Intelligence, that composes original music in the style of modern and classical composers. He's working on a new version that anyone will be able to use -- even non-musicians just noodling on a keyboard.

Cope: If you're noodling with ideas currently, without an EMI-like program, you're going to end up with a lot of noodles from your noodling rather than anything that merits much. Whereas if you're noodling in EMI, EMI can extend it, show you where it might go, or instead of you even noodling, it could in fact give you a base by just you asking it just to compose in a composer's style with which you're familiar, or your favorite composer, and then say okay, please add my noodles into that style and see what now comes out. You might find a whole new style comes out. And you could certainly do this without even knowing music notation, just by using your ears and having some musical taste.

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