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Computers and Musical Style

Reviewers comments on Computers and Musical Style by David Cope:

"Cope's book presents a computer program with great potential for the careful study and precise analysis of musical styles. It should, therefore, be of real interest to both music theorists and music historians."

--Leonard B. Meyer, Professor Emeritus, The University of Pennsylvania, author of Style and Music

"Cope's new book is a fascinating account of his work in automatic composition. Drawing on his knowledge of computer science and linguistics as well as of music theory, he has created a computer program capable of simulating diverse musical styles. The potential is great not only for composition but for musicological style analysis."

-- Fred Lerdahl, Professor of Music, Columbia University, coauthor of A Generative Theory of Tonal Music

"This book has value across many areas of musical interest. It is a serious attempt to address the issues in finding the fundamental building blocks of musical style. Because Cope's theories have been put to the test and implemented in a computer program one is able to evaluate the success of his methods, a circumstance that makes this a practical contribution to our understanding of music."

--Michael Casey, Notes, March 1993

"News of David Cope's pioneering work in the simulation of historical repertoies has been circulated in such fields as electronic composition and artificial intelligence for several years. This publication, a detailed explanation of the thought processes that shape the software that generates the simulations, not only makes the subject accessible to musicologists and music theorists but also brings practitioners of these diverse disciplines into a common forum."

Eleanor Selfridge-Field, Journal of the American Musicological Society Volume XLV, No. 3, 1992

"Strawn . . . wrote " 'The interdisciplinary challenges to the reader underline the advantage of the cross-fertilization between technology and the arts. Each learns from the other; both are hereby enriched. I hope that David Cope's book will be a springboard for deep and fruitful discussions in both areas.' The four reviewers agree with Strawn's statements and have enjoyably confirmed his hope. ..we recommend the book to all and suggest that, because of its scope, it would provbide a fine basis for a seminar or group study."

--Richard Brush, Michael Hauser, Glenn Spencer and Jim Standish, The Computer Music Journal Volume 17, No. 1, Spring 1993

"Composers, theorists, musicologists, and programmers should all find David Cope's book, Computers and Musical Style, to be an excellent resource for information and inspiration . . . If the success of a book is measured by its ability to stimulate creative activity, then this book is a triumph."

--Timothy Kloth, Computers in Music Research, Volume 4, Fall 1992.

"The results, on the whole, seem very encouraging, although it is abundantly clear that there is still much research to be carried out before such computer models of musical style can achieve the hoped-for objectives. What does emerge from this discourse is that statistical methods of analysis can unmask aspects of musical style that are often not identified by more traditional procedures and thus of considerable general interest quite apart from any generative applications."

--Peter Manning ,Music and Letters, Volume 74, No. 1, February 1993