Years ago, [Leo Neumann]’s girlfriend gave him a 1970s chess computer game that was missing almost everything but the super cool clicky keyboard. Noting the similarity of chess move labeling to chord notation, [Leo] decided to turn it into something even nerdier — a jazz chord game where you jam with the computer.
To play the game, you and the computer take turns entering jazz chords that progress musically from the last one played. The hardware is simple — a Raspberry Pi Zero and a WM8960 audio hat with amplifier in speakers. [Leo] also put in a slightly larger display than the original and printed a new bottom half for the case. We love the look of this build, especially the groovy custom line font [Leo] designed.
On the software side, [Leo] made a Python prototyping environment using PYO Module and Kivy UI. Not content with other approaches to tonal consonance, [Leo] played a couple thousand chords and rated them according to their progressive harmony. Shake out those jazz hands and check it out after the break.
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6 thoughts on “Chess Computer Retires To Play Jazz”
hehe… Baby steps to Giant Steps.
For the uninitiated, Vox has a great piece on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62tIvfP9A2w
It’s not just great video, it’s Emmy-award winning. Well worth watching but it made me realize that jazz music is complex beyond my ability to comprehend.
Mindblowing! Thanks for sharing this.
Man… that was a catchy tune. I am going to have that in my head all day now!
Watch out Herbie Hancock, MK1 is coming for you.
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