Evolving Four-Part Harmony Using Genetic Algorithms

Donnelly P., Sheppard J.

Conference on EvoApplications 2011: EvoCOMPLEX, EvoGAMES, EvoIASP, EvoINTELLIGENCE, EvoNUM, AND EvoSTOC, Torino, Italy, 27 - 29 April 2011, vol.6625, pp.273-282 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 6625
  • City: Torino
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.273-282
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


This paper presents a genetic algorithm that evolves a four-part musical composition melodically, harmonically, and rhythmically. Unlike similar attempts in the literature, our composition evolves from a single musical chord without human intervention or initial musical material. The mutation rules and fitness evaluation are based on common rules from music theory. The genetic operators and individual mutation rules are selected from probability distributions that evolve alongside the musical material.