Telekom turns to AI to complete Beethoven’s 10th Symphony

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Legendary music composer Ludwig van Beethoven composed nine symphonies and began work on his 10th symphony shortly before his death in 1827. Today, almost 200 years later, German telecommunications giant Telekom has created a team of international musicologists and artificial intelligence (AI) experts to create a possible completed version of Beethoven’s unfinished 10th Symphony with the help of AI.

Led by Dr Matthias Röder, CEO of the Karajan Institute, the group co-developed a ‘Beethoven AI’, leveraging voice processing algorithms to help teach AI to mimic style. of Beethoven based on the “style” of the composer and other composers who inspired him, such as Johann Sebastian Bach.

The AI ​​generated pieces of music, drawing on existing fragments from the 10th Symphony to build a complete symphony analyzed by musicologists including Professor Christine Siegert, head of the Beethoven-Haus research department, before its release.

Tim Höttges, Chairman of Deutsche Telekom, said: “I think the result is something really amazing because people and machines have created something new.

“But it’s important to see the result as it is. Beethoven lived in his time. Beethoven lived in a society characterized by wars, by need, but also by a lot of love and empathy.

“No machine is capable of doing that today. The machine understands music and can develop it further, but it cannot integrate the zeitgeist – the subject under study if you will – into music. . “

The world premiere of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony on October 9, 2021 at the Telekom Forum in Bonn, performed by the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn conducted by Dirk Kaftan, will be broadcast live and free on MagentaMusik 360.

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