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Unique degree course combining music and artificial intelligence launched

* 1 September 2003 *

Unique degree course combining music and artificial intelligence launched

A groundbreaking new degree course that combines music composition with computing and artificial intelligence is being launched at the University of Sussex.

While there are other courses in how to use technology as a tool for music making, the Music Informatics course at Sussex involves programming computers to actually create the music. In this way, the course will develop students' computing and music skills side-by-side in a creative and unique way.

"This course is about the next generation of music technology," says course leader Andrew Gartland-Jones, Lecturer in Computational Music. "It's about machines working with you to create rather than using them as dumb tools."

Potential students don't need to be experienced computer programmers, but they must be competent musicians as the course also places a heavy emphasis on traditional music and music technology skills.

"The computing skills that students on this course will gain are much in demand by employers," says Gartland-Jones. "As well as developing these skills, students get to explore their creativity as well."

The course will be taught by staff from both the music and informatics departments, both of which are highly rated for the quality of their research. The music department was rated 8th in the 2002 Times ratings and 5th in the 2003 Guardian guide (the highest rated university music department). Both music and computer science were top rated in the latest government Research Assessment Exercise.

The new course sits in the context of the Computational Creativity Research Group at Sussex, which explores computational aspects of creative activities.

"What we're interested in are the musical possibilities created by new technology, and particularly the notion of interactivity and machine composition," says Gartland-Jones, whose background is as both a composer and computer scientist. "Students on this course will be at the forefront of this exciting new area."

* Notes for editors *

Andrew Gartland-Jones can be contacted on 01273 877994, email

Press Office contacts: Peter Simmons or Jacqui Bealing, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456,
email or

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