In 1824, Beethoven premiered his last orchestral work, Symphony No. 9 in D minor. But, before his death three years later in 1827, he had begun work on a 10th symphony.
All that remained of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony was fragmentary sketches of the first movement which he had notably started before his death in 1827. However, these fragments were turned into a complete piece of music using artificial intelligence technology.
A page of Beethoven’s notes for his planned 10th Symphony. Beethoven House Museum, CC BY-SA
A team of musicologists and computer scientists have used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to complete Beethoven's unfinished 10th Symphony. The project, which began in 2019, was a collaboration between researchers at the Dresden University of Technology and the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
How AI Completed Beethoven's 10th Symphony
The researchers used AI algorithms to analyze Beethoven's existing compositions and generate new music that was consistent with his style and aesthetic. They also studied Beethoven's sketches and notes for the 10th Symphony to gain insight into his creative process and intentions.
The resulting composition was then arranged and recorded by a live orchestra, under the direction of conductor Peter Gülke. The finished work was premiered at a concert in Bonn, Germany in 2020.
Significance of the Project
The completion of Beethoven's 10th Symphony using AI is a significant achievement in the field of musicology and computer science. It demonstrates the power of AI to analyze complex data and create new works of art that are consistent with established artistic styles and traditions.
Furthermore, the project raises interesting questions about the intersection of technology and creativity. While some may argue that AI-composed music lacks the authenticity and emotional depth of human-created music, others see it as a promising new frontier in music composition and performance.
A Remarkable AI Musical Achievement
The completion of Beethoven's 10th Symphony using AI is a remarkable achievement that highlights the potential of technology to push the boundaries of art and creativity. While the project raises some interesting questions about the role of technology in music composition and performance, it is clear that AI has a significant role to play in the future of music and the arts.