Making music used to be something everybody did, and will likely do again in the future according to Parag Chordia, Director of the Music Intelligence Lab at Georgia Tech.
Music has come a long way since it was truly a community-wide, participatory event. These days, in order to make music one must be expected to play an instrument and actually sound good. Back in the day, that stuff didn't matter as much: the point was to make music together. So the question is, according to Parag, can computers help us get back to that place…
At his Music Intelligence Lab, Chordia is primarily interested in answer two questions:
1 – Can we get computers to listen to and understand music?
2 – Can we get them to help us be creative?
Essentially he wants to lower the floor so that more people — people who wouldn’t normally possess the means or ability to create music — are able to do just that: create music. So we're not talking about musicians creating music using computer programs. We're talking about non-musicians creating music because they no longer need to play instruments: that part would be left up to a computer to figure out.
The idea is that if technology allow can anyone to partake in the creation of modern sounding music, the process essentially returns to its community-based roots, full circle.
To facilitate this change, Parag has created an iPhone app called "La Di Da" that creates music using "reverse karaoke." You sing into the iPhone, then the computer program writes the music in the appropriate key and even auto tunes your voice for you. It's available for $2.99 in iTunes and is currently among the top ten
grossing music apps. Click below to see and hear it in action…