Computational Harmonic Analysis and Prediction in the Bach Chorales
Zabriskie, Hugh Paul
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AbstractDuring his lifetime, the Baroque composer J.S. Bach harmonized more than 300 chorale melodies, which collectively have become a pivotal body of music in Western music history and exemplify the composer’s groundbreaking compositional techniques. Bach’s harmonizations rest upon a series of compositional conventions that musicians today continue to emulate when learning to write in four-part counterpoint. By transforming the chorales into a statistical dataset, this thesis explores the ability of machine learning models to harmonically analyze chorale melodies and generate new harmonizations that exhibit the same compositional conventions Bach pioneered centuries ago.
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