Compose like Bach with Google’s first AI-powered Doodle |
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Shirley McMarlin

Bend it like Beckham, move like Jagger, now compose like Bach.

To remember the birthday of German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Google came up with its first AI-powered Doodle that allows users to compose a short melody that is then harmonized into Bach’s style.

Lucky users who find a special Easter egg within the Doodle can make an ’80s-style Bach-rock hybrid.

The Bach Doodle is a partnership of Google Magenta and Google PAIR teams. The model found on the Google home page was developed by Magenta Team AI Resident Anna Huang, who developed Coconet, described as “a versatile model that can be used in a wide range of musical tasks — such as harmonizing melodies or composing from scratch.”

“Coconet was trained on 306 of Bach’s chorale harmonizations. His chorales always have four voices, each carrying their own melodic line, while creating a rich harmonic progression when played together,” Google says.

And people love it.

Born March 21, 1685, Bach composed both secular and sacred music. “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” a section of his popular organ piece, “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” is especially well-known.

After users have fun with the Doodle, they would be well advised to go back to the original and be amazed at what a 17th-century dude came up with using only his brain for recording equipment.

Try the Doodle yourself, but be warned that it can be addicting.

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