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New Computer Program Turns Literature Into Music

robot reads


The latest from the algorithm universe comes to us via TransPose, a new computer program which translates literature into music.

Created by Hannah Davis and Saif Mohammad TransPose assigns ratings to words based on their emotional value and aims to “programmatically translate the basic emotions of a novel into a musical piece that holds the same basic emotional feeling.”

The current version of TransProse is just the beginning of our investigation, and we don’t claim to be making beautiful music yet. This iteration is a starting point to see if we could programmatically translate the basic emotions of a novel into a musical piece that holds the same basic emotional feeling.

A few things to listen for:
the octave represents the difference between joy and sadness densities throughout the novel
shorter notes correspond with more emotionally dense areas of the novel
more emotion creates more dissonant notes (parts of the music that are relatively simple/consonant mean there are fewer emotions there)



A few potential uses for the software that the creators envision are:

Creating audiovisual e-books that generate music when certain pages are opened—music that accentuates the mood conveyed by the text in those pages.

Finding songs that capture the emotions in different parts of a novel. This could be useful, for example, to allow an app to find and play songs that are compatible with the mood of the chapter being read.

Generating music for movie scripts.


The Physics arXiv Blog

Robot Reads Novels, Writes Songs About Them | Popular Science.

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