Birmingham researchers say new system could show how Jimi Hendrix might have performed an Ed Sheeran song


Researchers in Birmingham say they could soon be able to show how artists of yesteryear would have performed modern music.

Jimi Hendrix and Ed Sheeran

Jimi Hendrix and Ed Sheeran

Academics from Birmingham City University say a new system will help them explore how Jimi Hendrix might interpret Ed Sheeran or how Ray Charles might have styled a Lady Gaga number.

The project is analysing the playing style of musicians to show how they would have played any piece of music.

Islah Ali-MacLachlan, senior lecturer in sound engineering at Birmingham City University who is leading the research, said: “With this kind of technology, music producers of the future will be able to draw on the style and expertise of some of the world’s greatest musicians.

“It will allow us to analyse how long notes are played for and deviations in their sound by cutting edge artificial intelligence algorithms to predict what a real musician would do with a different melody.”

Hundreds of pieces of music from across half a century are being analysed and entered into the new system to create 15,000 individual notes and sounds.

The system is already able to replicate notes to an 86 per cent level of accuracy and imitate nearly 75 per cent of all individual note deviations, directly linked to a musician’s specific style of play.

The research team say they hope it could be used to demonstrate how classical musicians like Mozart and Beethoven may have played contemporary pieces of music and could even highlight how individual musicians may have played the same piece of music differently in different periods as their styles changed over time.


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