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Researchers Create an Automatic Backup Band for Singers 230

Researchers at Microsoft Labs are hoping to allow untrained singers to have their own automatic backup band in the near future. A new piece of software, "MySong", promises to take a sung melody and using a probability computation algorithm, generate an appropriate chord accompaniment. There is also a video of the process on the Microsoft Labs website. "'The idea is to let a creative but musically untrained individual get a taste of song writing and music creation,' Morris told New Scientist. 'There was nothing out there that could take a sung vocal melody as an input and then generate appropriate chords to accompany it. [...] Since people rarely sing at precise frequencies, MySong compares a sung melody to the 12 standard musical notes. It then feeds an approximate sequence of notes to the system's chord probability computation algorithm. This algorithm has been trained, through analysis of 300 rock, pop, country and jazz songs, to recognize fragments of melody and chords that work well together, as well as chords that complement each another.'"

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