AAAI Publications, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Integrating the Cognitive with the Physical: Musical Path Planning for an Improvising Robot
Mason Bretan, Gil Weinberg

Last modified: 2017-02-12


Embodied cognition is a theory stating that the processes and functions comprising the human mind are influenced by a person's physical body. Embodied musical cognition is a theory of the musical mind stating that the person's body largely influences his or her musical experiences and actions (such as performing, learning, or listening to music). In this work, a proof of concept demonstrating the utility of an embodied musical cognition for robotic musicianship is described. Though alternative theories attempting to explain human musical cognition exist (such as cognitivism and connectionism), this work contends that the integration of physical constraints and musical knowledge is vital for a robot in order to optimize note generating decisions based on limitations of sound generating motion and enable more engaging performance through increased coherence between the generated music and sound accompanying motion. Moreover, such a system allows for efficient and autonomous exploration of the relationship between music and physicality and the resulting music that is contingent on such a connection.


embodied cognition; music; robotics; path planning

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