generating for understanding
of inspiration within melodic expressions
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These are some questions most frequently asked to us along the research and publication of phyMuse. Should you need some answers of more questions that are not covered below, feel free to write us.

What is the relatedness between "generative music" and your approach to traditional songs?
In Indonesia, we are facing a diverse ethnicities spreading in the archipelagic geography. The uniqueness of each social identities are reflected through traditional languages, songs, fabric motifs, and so on, you name it. This is a very interesting landscape for evolutionary research on culture. However, as analysis on the diversity is going along, we found hypotheses about elementary unit that distinguished among songs. The latest tempts to use the obtained variables in the implementation of an evolutionary algorithm and heuristic optimization to generate songs.

Is the phylomemetic tree more like the family genealogical tree or the tree of life?
It is tempting to think that way for the observed songs are related to the varsities of ethnic groups in Indonesian archipelago. However, principally it is not. The phylomemetic tree is merely a mapping of the evolutionary distances among songs in our dataset. Thus, two songs sharing common neighborhood in the tree is read as having close mathematical variables and parameters that is hypothesized as smallest unit of information emerged by the collective cognitive systems within an ethnic group.
Why do you call it phyMuse? ...physics of music?
What's in a name! In this research program we scrutinize songs by lots of methods transgressing the boundaries of conventional sciences, from statistical physics, evolutionary biology, computation, and certainly knowledge on music. Let the name alone for easier rememberance...

I wonder how you made the phylomemetic tree of songs in Indonesia archipelago…
In short, from the data set we mine from public participation in http://www.budaya-indonesia.org/, we calculate the mathematical aspects and statistical variables of all songs and then align them as a “genetic” – or more comfortably we say “memetic” – sequences. This aligning sequences is thus mapped by using evolutionary cladistics that have been widely used in genetics. You can read research and department technical report related to this to understand more. Feel free to browse the institute’s website: http://www.bandungfe.net.

What is a "generative music"?
Our definition to “generative music” is rooted from the concept of “generative art”. Thus, generative music refers to musical piece that has been generated and composed in an algorithmic manner by employing the use of mathematical process and computational technology. However, musician like Brian Eno has popularized the term “generative music” as the more specific ever-changing and different music that is created in a system. Nevertheless, Eno’s definition and our basic definition are, roughly speaking, similar. The difference is that our musical generation process use variables that hypothetically related to some elementary variables emerging the beautiful melodic sequence which is computationally calculated.
How do you actually generate the music?
Our musical generation is brought in following steps. Step 1: we must have melodic sequence(s) that is used as song reference and calculate the mathematical and statistical variables in it. Step 2: the obtained variables are thus used in generating pitches and the respective durations new sequences computationally. Step 3: from the new sequence we can incorporate process of harmonization to have a complete new songs. The last step can be brought by incorporating the standard musical software e.g.: musical notations and mixers that have been widely available in the market.

I found several generative music in the net? Are your music the same?
We believe that even though we refer to the same terminology, some concepts and practical implementation are different. Some musical generator, that we happen to know, produces music by using some mathematical and computational algorithms like cellular automata, sequence of irrational numbers, et cetera that are mapped onto musical landscape. Ours uses other songs’ mathematical and statistical parameters for generating one.

Why complexity research institute like yours, generate songs?
Our main task was definitely not generating music. The musical generator is more like a side effect of research brought in the institute. Social complexity research grows structures in silico in order to understand phenomena. You can hardly explain something unless you grow its structure in computers in which you can do experiments in it. The same principles are thus implemented in our endeavor to understand the diversity of songs in Indonesian archipelago.

Is the music in this website for free?
Positive! All the downloadable mp3s are free to download, enjoy, share, or use in any of your project as long as it's a non-commercial purposes. The license we implemented here is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Is generative music threatened the professional composers, artists, industrial music and the aesthetical concept behind a song?
In fact, it is funny to think of that way. From the very beginning we start the research program to reveal the complexity in aspects of the way we appreciate beautiful melodic sequence. There are a lot of mystery in this and it’s fascinating to be in the pathways directed to in-depth understanding about this issue. For us, it is an even more interesting opportunity to see the side-effect of the computational programs in such ways can be incorporated to enhance the conventional musical compositions. Collaboration is always yielding interesting outcome. The evolution of human being and social has confirmed it.
I'm not satisfied with the existing MIDI-syle music MP3s. Where can I get the musical notations or MIDI file so I can play and jam with my instruments?
How interesting! Just write to us! Let's celebrate a frutiful collaboration!

May I try by myself or copy your software for music generation?
The software is still used in on-going research program. Basically we’d like to let people to try it by themselves. However, some administrative issue and technicalities are still not permitted to do it. We are still working on that issue. However, live demonstration, workshop, and direct discussions are always doable. Just write to us.

How can I contribute to this project?
There are a lot of things you can do. For better construction of the phylomemetic tree You can submit more data to http://www.budaya-indonesia.org or simply just send them to us. For the generative music, you might want to contribute by making some lyrics, for example? Let’s make a more colorful musical life computationally…
I'd like to manage a generative musical workshop on this phyMuse...
You may organize any musical workshop related to this research result at your local community. We'd love to help you on matters of content, computational software of phyMuse and else, since any workshop would help spreading the ideas of musical diversity and generative art, in general. It would be lovely to see the results of the workshop as more musical pieces as inspired by the great inpsirational sources from songs spreading in the archipelago.
I want to learn more about this...
All technical papers related to this research are available online in the institute's website. Feel free to learn from them.

1. Exploitation of Memetics for Melodic Sequences Generation | BFI Working Paper Series WP-2-2010 | Bandung Fe Institute.

2. Menuju Studi Kompleksitas Musik Indonesia | BFI Working Paper Series WPT2007 | Bandung Fe Institute.

3. Conjectures to the Memes of Indonesian Songs | BFI Working Paper Series WP-VI-2008 | Bandung Fe Institute.


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