The Machine's Got Rhythm

Computers are learning to understand music and join the band

By Julie Rehmeyer, 15:56 PM April 15, 2008

Christopher Raphael begins the third movement of a Mozart oboe quartet. As his oboe sounds its second note, his three fellow musicians come in right on cue. Later, he slows down and embellishes with a trill, and the other players stay right with him. His accompanists don't complain or tire when he practices a passage over and over. And when he's done, he switches them off.

After all, his fellow musicians exist only as a recording. A software package, written by Raphael, controls their tempo a...

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