Symposium On Music & AI

Lecture and World Premiere

Michael Bess, consultant

February 20th, 2025 @ 8:00pm

Turner Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Presentation by Tod Machover, Professor of Music and Media, MIT, and Director of the Media Lab’s Opera of the Future group, including the world premiere of a duo for marimba and AI, composed by Professor Machover and performed by Ji Hye Jung, Professor of Percussion, Blair School of Music.

  • What kinds of new forms of musical expression have been facilitated as musicians and composers turn to artificial intelligence tools for creating or performing their works?
  • How closely must music and the other arts be linked to human activity in order to be considered innovative and authentic? 
  • To what extent can we legitimately use the words “creativity” and “imagination” in speaking of music which has been partly or wholly generated by a machine? 
  • How might AI-generated music affect the emotional responses and artistic sensibilities of those who listen to music?

Reception to follow.

Panel Discussion: "AI and the Political Economy of Music and the Arts"

Michael Bess, consultant

March 6, 2025 @ 6:00pm

Room TBA, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

- Scott Hawley, Professor of Physics and Sound Engineering, Belmont University
- Jenny Davis, Professor of Sociology, Vanderbilt University
- Dan Cornfield, Professor of Sociology, Vanderbilt University
- Alexandre Frenette, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Vanderbilt University

  • What are the potential effects on the livelihoods of musicians and composers if the quality of AI-generated music keeps improving at an accelerating pace? 
  • What kinds of new opportunities and possibilities do AI tools offer to composers and musicians?
  • Is it possible to measure or even minimize the professional and economic consequences for composers, musicians, and producers when advertising, film, media, or entertainment industries increase the use of AI tools, which inevitably displace or reduce the demand for human-created music?
  • How can we track the changing meanings of “authorship” and “creativity” in a world where artificial intelligence and the arts interact more intimately and complexly with each other?

Reception to follow.