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PDF papers
id ga0206
authors Biles, John A.
year 2002
title GenJam in Transition: from Genetic Jammer to Generative Jammer
source International Conference on Generative Art
summary GenJam, short for Genetic Jammer, is an evolutionary computation (EC) based software agent that models a jazz improviser. Recently GenJam has evolved away from its roots as an interactive genetic algorithm toward its current state as an autonomous generative system. GenJam has retained its chromosome-based representations and mappings, its intelligent selection, crossover and mutation operators, and its real-time interactive performance capabilities. However, it no longer needs any explicit representation of fitness, which arguably makes it no longer an EC system. This paper considers GenJam as a generative art system. Generative art produces “unique and non-repeatable events” that express a designer’s generating idea. The designer’s generating idea defines a species of events, represented in a genetic code. In music, these events could be individual notes, melodic phrases, even entire pieces. In GenJam the events are four-measure phrases, or “licks” in the jazz vernacular. The format for the genetic code, then, defines a species space from which unique individual events can be generated. Uniqueness is important in jazz because improvisation must be spontaneous and “new.” Hence, improvisation is tailor-made for the generative art paradigm, and in fact, one could argue that improvisation is, by definition, the purest example of generative art applied to music. In other words, generative music is improvisation, and GenJam is the Generative Jammer.
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