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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 March 2021

Ode to Dubai: emirate gets its own theme song - composed by AI

Piece was created using algorithms based on 30,000 music scores from history’s greatest composers

Dubai has got its own theme song.  Sarah Dea / The National.
Dubai has got its own theme song.  Sarah Dea / The National.

To an untrained ear, it wouldn’t sound out of place on an album of 18th Century hits - but Ode to Dubai is no classic, in the traditional sense of the word.

The piece, unveiled at Future Technology Week, is the world’s first-ever city-themed song composed by artificial intelligence.

Created as part of a collaboration between the show organisers and Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist, which composes original classical scores, Ode to Dubai was made using algorithms based on 30,000 symphonic music scores from history’s greatest composers, including Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.

Pierre Barreau, a computer scientist, film director, composer and the chief executive of Aiva, asked whether the technology could be the greatest composer of all time on Tuesday during a keynote address at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference 2018.

"Personalised music will be the next single biggest change in how we consume and create music,” he said.

“Imagine if we could bring Beethoven back to life, so that he could write your life soundtrack based on your personality and your story. It’s in the spirit of that vision that we tasked Aiva to compose the world’s first personalised anthem for a city.”


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