education / Music / Professional Development / Science

UW Madison Guest Lecture

My good friend and former Sonar Mellowship bandmate Dr. David Ehrlich asked me if I’d contribute to the neuroscience class he was teaching at UW Madison entitled, “Music and the Brain.” The topic was creativity, improvisation, and algorithmic generation of music.

It made for some fascinating research, and I learned a lot about both the history and cutting-edge of algorithmic music generation. In addition, I helped him create a project for the class, who were not expected to have any programming background, by adapting a colab notebook by Aurélien Geron. The project revolved around listening to Bach chorales and generating new ones with a CNN-LSTM artificial neural network, and then performing an experiment by asking friends and contacts to see if they can tell which Bach chorales were genuine and which were generated.

The whole endeavor really drilled into my head exactly how much preparation and forethought is required to create even one-hour college lecture. I had a lot of fun and hope to work on similar collaborative projects.

Lecture video:

Lecture slides:

Colab notebook project: 

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