Towards an Intelligent Learning Environment for Melody Composition Through Formalisation of Narmour's Implication-Realisation Model

Smith, Matthew Richard (1997). Towards an Intelligent Learning Environment for Melody Composition Through Formalisation of Narmour's Implication-Realisation Model. PhD thesis The Open University.

Abstract

This thesis describes research with the ultimate goal o f finding ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) to encourage and facilitate melody composition by musical novices. The work described in this thesis forms the groundwork for the development of intelligent learning environments for novice composers in this domain.

There were two stages to the research. The first stage was the formalisation and testing of an existing analytical theory o f melody. This theory offers an explanation of how musical listeners break-up a melody into "chunks", and hear some notes as more important than others. The theory enables analysis of melodies in a hierarchical fashion. The formalisation process involved the implementation of a parser to create hierarchical analyses, and comparison of published analyses based on the theory with those created by the parser from the same melodies. From these results a critical evaluation of the analytical theory, and the parser, is presented.

The second stage o f the research involved extending the parser with constraint-based generation techniques. One result is an AI tool (called MOTIVE), which can generate melodies given an analysis (from the parser, or constructed by the user) and a set of constraints to be applied at each hierarchical level. The features of the tool are presented, and a general architecture for an intelligent learning environment is proposed, within which MOTIVE would reside, which shows how the formalised analytical theory from the first part of the work could be used educationally by novice composers of melody.

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