The Evolution of Music
A collaboration between a group in Imperial College and Media Interaction group in Japan yielded a really cool website: darwintunes.org. The idea is to apply Darwinian-like selection to music. Starting form a garble, after several generations producing something that is actually melodic and listen-able. Or a Katy Perry tune. Whatever. The selective force being the appeal of the tune to the listener. From the paper published yesterday in PNAS:
The processes underlying a single DarwinTunes population
are shown in Fig. 1A. At any given time, a DarwinTunes population
has 100 loops, each of which is 8 s long. Consumers rate
them on a five-point scale (“I can’t stand it” to “I love it”) as they
are streamed in random order. When 20 loops have been rated,
truncation selection is applied whereby the best 10 loops are
paired, recombine, and have two daughters each.
Great. This blog is about biology and music, I think this is the first post I actually had both together. Nothing more to say, really, except that DarwinTunes is seriously going to ruin my productivity today.
Here are the evolving tunes. From the atonal generation 0 to the rather palatable, if somewhat dull, last generation (3630 as of this writing):
Robert M. MacCallum, Matthias Mauchb, Austin Burta, & Armand M. Leroia (2012). (2012-06-18) Evolution of music by public choice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203182109