A functional taxonomy of music generation systems

Dorien Herremans, Ching Hua Chuan, Elaine Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Digital advances have transformed the face of automatic music generation since its beginnings at the dawn of computing. Despite the many breakthroughs, issues such as the musical tasks targeted by different machines and the degree to which they succeed remain open questions. We present a functional taxonomy for music generation systems with reference to existing systems. The taxonomy organizes systems according to the purposes for which they were designed. It also reveals the inter-relatedness amongst the systems. This design centered approach contrasts with predominant methods-based surveys and facilitates the identification of grand challenges to set the stage for new breakthroughs. 2017 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalACM Computing Surveys
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Algorithmic composition
  • Automatic composition
  • Functional survey
  • Music generation
  • Survey
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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