Meet a composer without arms, legs or human faculties. Emily Howell is the name given to a software program created by David Cope:
"With Cope’s help, Emily Howell has written three original opuses of varying length and style, with another trio in development. Although the first recordings won’t be released until February, reactions to live performances and rough cuts have been mixed. One listener compared an Emily Howell work to Stravinsky; others (most of whom have heard only short excerpts online) continue to attack the very idea of computer composition, with fierce debates breaking out in Internet forums around the world.
At one Santa Cruz concert, the program notes neglected to mention that Emily Howell wasn’t a human being, and a chemistry professor and music aficionado in the audience described the performance of a Howell composition as one of the most moving experiences of his musical life. Six months later, when the same professor attended a lecture of Cope’s on Emily Howell and heard the same concert played from a recording, Cope remembers him saying, “You know, that’s pretty music, but I could tell absolutely, immediately that it was computer-composed. There’s no heart or soul or depth to the piece.”
Listen to the excerpts at the link above. Does it sound machine-made to you, or does your perception that it is created by a machine detract from its musical value?