Crowdsourced Sound Composition

Contact: Mary Pietrowicz

Music creation has long been the domain of trained composers. Many kinds of compositional styles and notation exist, and they reange from traditional notated composition on the musical staff, to completely electronic compositions which have no score, to popular music notated in lead sheet format, to electro-acoustic compositions (partially notated), to improvisational, and more. Yet, all styles require training and practice in order to produce coherent pieces. It is also a time-intensive and costly process for the composer. And, each individual composer has a personal style that defines the music they create. This is both enabling and limiting. It is enabling in that the composer has bounded the problem (he is a certain kind of composer, with certain skills, who uses certain techniques, and tends to write certain kinds of pieces, etc.), but limiting in that a single person will not explore the range of what is possible to create. In our project, we explore how non-experts can create sound compositions via crowdsourcing techniques, see how they explore the range of possibility, and observe how they go beyond the boundaries of individual capability.

Img Sound requestors use the CrowdBand interface to describe the kind of piece that they want to create. Our system breaks the problem down into three kinds of tasks (fundamental sound provisioning, sound assembly, and sound evaluation), creates a workflow, and automatically posts the tasks on mechanical turk.

Download foundation sounds that the crowd provided to create a composition about aliens, along with an example composition which uses them. And, download or play a short composition that the crowd created using the alien foundation sounds. You can access more provisioned sounds and resultant compositions here .