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Seventh Symphony? If you go this website you will see an article claming the there exists a computer generated Tchaikovsky symphony and that it has been performed with great success. The article is copyrighted 1997 and boasts a bright future for this symphony. However I can't find mention of it anywhere else. Perhaps it is a spoof.

Norman Armstrong

The references to the Philadelphia Orchestra might mislead the unwary reader into thinking this was the reconstruction of Tchaikovsky's Symphony in E major produced in the 1950s by Semyon Bogatyrev, which was championed by Eugene Ormandy with that ensemble. However, reading on, the article describes a completely different piece "composed" by a computer, in an attempt to emulate what Tchaikovsky might have done after the Pathétique.

A quick Google search shows that the only references to the names of the supposed software, author and conductor come from the same source, so it's highly unlikely that we're actually missing out on "this marvelous work of art that is likely to become a staple of the symphonic repertoire for many generations" (sic).

Brett Langston

As long as we are verging on the world of fantasy i have a better idea. Why dont we disinterre tchaikovsky's body and collect some dna to create a whole plethora of tchaikovskys that would be genetically engineered so that we could have at our disposal the composer to do any number of commissioned works. such as a new work for christmas each year to replace the perennial but overheard nutcracker, new symphonies, concerti, operas, ballets or what you wish. we could do likewise with any other favorites you like. something like the jurassic park for composers. is this at all feaseable? has anyone thought about bringing back the deceased in this way? I am not joking. as far as computer engineered music i would have to hear it to believe it. I think this might be a wave of the future. who knows what marvels science will yet unfold.

Albert Gasparo

Albert, as you wrote you are not joking I am strongly against such activities. Why we should do such things? The magnitude of Tchaikovsky's legacy is also in its historical aspects. I don't think that the future will ever be able to create "new" Tchaikovsky. Maybe it is possible to create the body, but the transcendental element of music will be still missing. The element Tchaikovsky was also aware, the source of inspiration... that impenetrable mystery.

Marcel Takac

I cannot imagine what purpose would be served by cloning Tchaikovsky, Mozart, or any other famous composer. Although the product of such an experiment would bear an eerie physical resemblance to the original, it would possess none of the ideas, memories, personality traits, or musical aptitudes of the real thing. Such nonsense belongs to the world of Frank Herbert's Dune or Alien: Resurrection (I hated that movie...), not reality. The source of musical genius is in the content of a man's mind (which in itself is a product of his environment, life experiences and choices), not in his DNA.

If the idea of a genetically-engineered composer is bad science fiction, then the notion of a computer-generated Tchaikovsky symphony is a transparent fraud. I confess that I find the suggestion distasteful. A machine cannot produce an original and worthwhile piece of art, regardless of how advanced it is or how much information is programmed into it. All artistic creation is a product of an individual (and infinitely complex) human intelligence. Therefore, a "computer-generated Tchaikovsky symphony" is a contradiction in terms.

Let us be grateful for the formidable body of work which Tchaikovsky has left us (much of which, like his operas and suites, remains unknown to the general public), rather than fantasizing about how we may cheat reality into giving us more of a good thing.

Nicolas Krusek

Richard Gary Epstein is a member of the Department of Computer Science, West Chester University of PA. He was teaching "Introduction to Security (& Ethics)" during sping 2007. If I'm right, he is the author of the story about Tchaikovsky's Seventh Symphony (see the name beside the copyright!). With this story and others, he's aiming (and I quote, see his website http: // :

"[to] explore the social implications of [Artificial Intelligence] and Virtual Reality."

So it seems that it's an entirely made-up story! And that's why we never heard of "conductor Henrietta Quelles", "musicologist Peter Michovsky, a Russian-born composer, Computer Technologist and music scholar" as well of the computer-generated Seventh Symphony...

Simon Deschênes

As I suspected then, merely a spoof. However I frequently have dreams in which I hear for the first time newly discoved Tchaikovsky works or revisions of old works. I once heard in my imagination a completely reworked 5th Symphony although Ive got to say that the revision was a big mistake and not a match on the orginal. In my dream the pastoral pipes of the first movement completely take over and eventually repeat ad nauseam with ever increasing intensity until it becomes unbearable.

Norman Armstrong

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013