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Automatically realize figured bass

From: Malte Meyn
Subject: Automatically realize figured bass
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:50:00 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.4.0

Hi everybody,

a few weeks ago my father asked me whether there is a tool that automatically realizes figured bass (I think you say “realize” for the act of composing the right hand accompaniment, don’t you?). I didn’t know such a tool, so I wrote a simple one in Haskell but this wasn’t clever enough (worked only under certain preconditions, used backtracking instead of something faster, didn’t weight solutions by their “goodness”, etc.). But now I have several ideas how to improve such a tool (represent chords as vertices in a graph, edges are weighted (unison/octave parallels get a very high score etc.), then find the best solution using the Dijsktra or Bellman-Ford wayfinding algorithm, …).

I don’t know whether such a tool could be implemented in LilyPond itself (as an engraver?) or it would be better to write a separate program (like lilypond-book/musicxml2ly/…). In the latter case, I think we would be relatively free in the choice of a programming language ;)

The german LilyPond forum doesn’t seem to be very interested in such a project yet. But there are so many more LilyPonders “out there” ;) Would someone on this list be interested
• to use such a tool if someone implemented it?
• to implement such a tool? (knowledge of figured bass or a programming language would be good ;)
• Or is there already such a tool for LilyPond that I don’t know?


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