Project

Cross-Cultural Melodic Transformation

It takes us years to learn our own musical tradition, and it is rare to find people who have become musically multilingual. However, by learning to compose in different cultural styles, we can expand our compositional palette and communicate more effectively across cultural boundaries. We are designing a computer-assisted compositional tool that can help composers to begin composing melodies in other cultural styles by dynamically analyzing the musical context and presenting as musical analogies melodic materials from various cultures. These melodic patterns address questions such as: In a target cultural style, how does one develop a musical idea? What are the idiomatic melodic progressions? How does one establish a structural pitch? What are the possible continuations to an unfinished melody and how does one cadence? This tool makes it more accessible for composers to transform and render their musical ideas in other musical languages.

It takes us years to learn our own musical tradition, and it is rare to find people who have become musically multilingual. However, by learning to compose in different cultural styles, we can expand our compositional palette and communicate more effectively across cultural boundaries. We are designing a computer-assisted compositional tool that can help composers to begin composing melodies in other cultural styles by dynamically analyzing the musical context and presenting as musical analogies melodic materials from various cultures. These melodic patterns address questions such as: In a target cultural style, how does one develop a musical idea? What are the idiomatic melodic progressions? How does one establish a structural pitch? What are the possible continuations to an unfinished melody and how does one cadence? This tool makes it more accessible for composers to transform and render their musical ideas in other musical languages.