Keyboard composes its own music

Summer is right around the corner and all the final projects from electronic design classes are rolling into the tip line. This time, we’ve got [Chaorong] and [Siyu]‘s auto-composing keyboard from their time in ECE4760 at Cornell.

The keyboard has two modes: a ‘happy’ mode and a ‘tender’ mode, the difference being the tender mode is slower and sounds a little like a lullaby. After two keys are pressed, the ATMega644 figures out what key it should play in and starts generating a random-ish sounding song using a Markov probability matrix.

There’s a third option for the keyboard as well: play a short melody and the software will loop through a few permutations of the melody. After the break, you can see [Siyu] play Ode to Joy and have the autocomposer improvise around the tune. Very, very nice work and we can’t wait to see more senior design projects hit the tip line.

5 thoughts on “Keyboard composes its own music

  1. A very neat project – made me look up Markov Chains, so I learned something today!

    Total aside (and apologies for being pedantic), but the post title should be “its” not “it’s.”

  2. pretty cool but i’m wondering why they decided to use a toy keyboard rather than using midi

    maybe they had to use hardware for their class

  3. Wasn’t there something a while back about a program that composed poetry?

    Getting more into “Nineteen Eighty-Four” land…

    Press Start to Stop. Where have we seen that before? ;)

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