Breeding Rhythms with Artificial Life

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2008 (2008)




We are interested in developing intelligent systems for music composition. In this paper we focus on our research into generative rhythms. We have adopted an Artificial Life (A-Life) approach to intelligent systems design in order to develop generative algorithms inspired by the notion of music as social phenomena that emerge from the overall behaviour of interacting autonomous software agents. Whereas most A-Life approaches to implementing computer music systems are chiefly based on algorithms inspired by biological evolution (for example, Genetic Algorithms [2]), this work is based on cultural development (for example, Imitation Games [12, 13]). We are developing a number of such “cultural” algorithms, one of which is introduced in this paper: the popularity algorithm. We also are developing a number of analysis methods to study the behaviour of the agents. In our experiments with the popularity algorithm we observed the emergence of coherent repertoires of rhythms across the agents in the society.