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Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music

From: Kieren MacMillan
Subject: Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 11:02:59 -0400

Hello all,

At first, I wasn't really interested in this thread… however, it's now gotten 
quite interesting.

> This is intellectually interesting but the question is not "who deserves to 
> create good music?" but rather "who wants to listen to music made by someone 
> that does not practice?" and who wants to listen to music played by a 
> computer? [...] Are we one day going to only listen to robots playing music?

This, I believe, cuts to the central problem of our time, at least with respect 
to "classical" or "concert" music: What is the correct (i.e., relevant and 
necessary) role of live music performance, and how should it be presented? In 
other words, why do we always use the word "listen", when -- at least in live 
performance -- we are almost necessarily WATCHING music being played?

> Art conveys emotions which are the one thing that make us human and thus 
> should be played by human.

1. I don't believe that "emotions are the one thing that make us human". But 
that's fodder for another thread…  :)
2. I believe that one day "fairly soon" computers -- in forms robotic and 
otherwise -- will be able to generate (i.e., "play") music which is either 
*actually* as emotionally rich as human performers, or at the very least the 
difference will be indistinguishable for the majority of audience members. But 
I also believe that it will be a great while longer before *watching* a robot 
(or audio speaker) will be as compelling as watching a human performer.

> One thing that comes to mind is that I don't want to arrive at a point where 
> musician will be teaching computers to play instead of learning to play 
> themselves.

I hate to break the news, but we're already at that point -- as evidenced by 
this thread.  =)


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