Is using AI to write music cheating?

Having tested many of them already I think artists and musicians still have great purpose and are not replaced quite yet…
27 July 2023

By Bee Adamic | FM Music Industry Columnist

We all know that the way we write music is definitely changing, is it good, or is it bad. You decide. But I’ve decided to look at ways it can help you. Is it cheating, who knows but it will be a part of our future and we need to embrace it right?

So many tools already exist with music writing and AI, including Soundraw, Soundful, Aiva, Jukebox and Google’s open source Magenta. Also not to forget Google’s recent MusicLM – which claims to write an entire song from a text prompt. Having tested many of them already I think artists and musicians still have great purpose and are not replaced quite yet…

Melody and chord generation

AI algorithms can generate melodies and chord progressions based on existing musical data. Musicians can use these generated ideas as a starting point and then modify and develop them further according to their artistic vision.

Apparently last year almost 1 in 5 hits had sample based features within them. So I would imagine as we end this year, the figures being even higher if we include if it had some kind of AI involved in the music making.

AI algorithms can analyse and learn from a particular style or genre of music and generate compositions that emulate that style. This can be helpful for musicians who want to experiment with different genres or incorporate specific stylistic elements into their own compositions.

Music theory assistance: 

AI can provide real-time assistance with music theory concepts. For example, it can help musicians identify scales, chords, and their relationships, making it easier to explore harmonic possibilities and experiment with different musical ideas.

Creative inspiration: 

AI algorithms can generate random musical ideas or explore unorthodox combinations of musical elements. This can spark new creative directions and inspire musicians to think outside the box when writing music.

Music production assistance: 

AI-powered plugins and software can assist musicians with music production tasks such as audio mixing, mastering, and sound design. These tools can automate certain processes, optimize audio quality, and help musicians achieve their desired sonic characteristics.

Music recommendation: 

AI-based recommendation systems can analyze a musician’s existing compositions or musical preferences and suggest similar artists, genres, or songs. This can help musicians discover new music and broaden their influences.

Personalised composition assistance: 

AI algorithms can adapt to a musician’s preferences and style over time. By learning from a musician’s compositions and musical choices, AI can provide personalized suggestions and ideas that align with their artistic vision.

Performance optimisation: 

AI can analyse live performances and provide feedback on areas such as timing, dynamics, and phrasing. This can help musicians refine their playing and enhance their live performances.

@bee_adamic

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Read Bee Adamic’s column on FM Digital | Issue 2 | Aug 2023