The internet is trying to crowd-write the perfect song


Christopher Hooton
Friday 28 August 2015 14:39

We’ve had crowdfunding, we’ve had Twitch crowd-completing Pokemon, we’ve even had The Button, but now the internet is banding together to write music.

‘This is an experiment in crowd-sourced songwriting. A melody is currently being generated, note by note, in real-time, using the popular vote of the crowd,’ says

‘Will the Wisdom of the Crowd create something special? This melody will eventually become a song with a chord structure of C, G, Am, F repeated 18 times. It will have a structure of (Verse / Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Conclusion). Lyrics for this song will also be crowd-generated in our next experiment.’

Anyone can help create the melody, by simply voting for what you think the next note of the melody should be.

The experiment is designed to test the hypothesis that wisdom of the crowd is greater than that of the individual.

So far the results are….mixed.

There are moments where the melody, created from a simple HTML5 Piano, is quite pleasing and even melancholy, then there are times when it jars, presumably from being pushed and pulled in different directions by different collaborators.

“Music is very mathematical and can be broken apart into small pieces," Brendon Ferris, the programmer behind the experiment told Daily Dot.

“If the majority believes a certain note sounds best after a combination of previous notes, the majority should also believe that all such crowd-picked notes sound pleasant together.”

Is this a glimpse into the future, where One Direction songs will be written by consortium? Will the song's drums be crowdsourced? The marketing strategies for the track?

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It will be interesting to say whether mass collaboration is the secret to the perfect song, but Ferris is optimistic.

"Rests are very much needed here and there to produce a good melody but selecting 'No Note' is quite a boring choice for the crowd," he said. "However, I was surprised to see a decent amount of rests forming part of the song. There are a few repeated notes and variation so the melody is really starting to sound like it has flair.

“The lyrics could be really what sets the song on fire.”


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