Machines and Music Education

When people talk about social software, they are almost always referring to social networking. Most teachers wouldn’t want their students to check microblogging (i.e. Twitter) updates while they’re in class. On the other hand, there are some interesting uses for search algorithms that might bring technology into non-technical classes.

Recommended Reading (PDF):
FOAFING THE MUSIC: A MUSIC RECOMMENDATION SYSTEM BASED ON RSS FEEDS AND USER PREFERENCES

Computers know very little about music. While they can reproduce tones fairly well, they usually can’t compose symphonies. Even the most synthetic electronic music isn’t truly artificial. Skilled DJs are in control when dance beats are laid down. Most music teachers use fairly basic music software in the classroom because of this fact. However, this might change in the near future.

Recommendation programs are usually associated with online retailers. Social recommendation software can actually be used to learn a great deal about people’s musical preferences. Students could spend time exploring what sort of music their classmates like to listen to. This could eventually lead to a much deeper study of musical theory. Even if computers will never be popular recording artists, there’s nothing that says they can’t be up on popular music. There’s also nothing that says that teachers shouldn’t use these algorithms to help their students understand the development of different musical genres.

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