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New Music Concepts 2019

Generative Conceptual Blending of High-Level Melodic Features: Shortcomings and Possible Improvements

Part of the New Music Concepts book series (NMC volume 6)
ISBN: 978-88-944350-0-9

Author(s): Maximos Kaliakatsos-Papakostas

Abstract: Conceptual Blending (CB) theory has been primarily employed as a method for interpreting creative artefacts, while recently it has been used as a creative tool for the algorithmic invention of new concepts. In music, interesting examples have been presented where low-level musical information (e.g. chord roots, chord types or pitch classes) is combined to generate new musical objects (e.g. cadences) or even entire harmonic spaces. These generative frameworks, however, do not incorporate information for high-level descriptive features of music, as pentatonicity or rhythm syncopation. The paper at hand presents a methodology where high-level blending is achieved by recombining low-level information of melodies using a genetic algorithm. A test case is examined where a Chinese Han melody is blended with a Jazz melody and representative blends are analyzed to expose some shortcomings and possible improvements in this approach.

Keywords: Conceptual Blending, Melodic Generation, High-Level Features