AI and classical music

It’s been in the news recently, in fact some schools are claiming it spells the demise of the homework essay, so, in the interests of research, definitely not laziness, I thought I’d ask Artificial Intelligence in the form of ChatGPT, to write my next music blog.

Keen though I am to be part of the cutting edge, I have to say the results were mixed at best. Although teachers claim that ChatGPT enables students to cheat by feeding their essay titles into its search, if their results are anything like my music blog results, there’s nothing to worry about yet. In fact, especially in the humour stakes, the tech still has a long way to go….

So, what happens if you ask ChatGPT to write a humorous, classical music blog?

Well, its first idea is to come up with a description of a classical music drinking game as follows:

The rules are:

  • If you hear a violin take one sip
  • If you hear a trombone take 2 sips
  • If you hear something by Tchaikovsky take 1 sip
  • If you hear something by Bach 2 sips

And so on…

Hmmm, all in all it looks like a recipe for a long evening of listening before you finish even one drink, unless you’re on shots…

So, I asked ChatGPT for another suggestion. Its response this time questioned the relevance of classical music:

Classical music. Just the mere mention of it can put some people to sleep. But don’t worry, that’s what it’s meant to do! After all, it’s the perfect background music for your next nap or meditation session.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But wait, there’s so much more to classical music than just making people drowsy!” Well, yes, that’s true. It’s also the perfect soundtrack for staring off into the distance and pondering the meaning of life.

Ha ha, very funny. These comments are meant to be taken lightly, but rather worryingly, they must represent an aggregate of all comments about classical music on the internet. ChatGPT teaches itself to come up with answers by reading and analysing multitudinous comments online. Presumably therefore, the majority of mentions of classical music are in the context of its sleep inducing properties….

ChatGPT’s final offering to me for my blog, is a myth-busting exercise:

  1. Myth: Classical music is boring. Fact: Classical music encompasses a wide range of styles and emotions, from the passionate intensity of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to the playful humor of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.”
  2. Myth: Classical music is only for old people. Fact: Classical music has something to offer people of all ages, regardless of their musical preferences. Many classical pieces are designed to evoke specific emotions and feelings, making them universally relatable.

Rather concerningly again, according to AI, people aren’t sure, whether some of the greatest artistic thought humanity has produced is still worth listening to. Confirmation, if it were needed, that musicians must advocate and lobby for classical music more than ever, working hard to make concerts a vibrant part of people’s lives.

To be fair, ChatGPT wins full marks for grammar and punctuation, it’s just the content of its answers I take issue with and so, hoping it would redeem itself and that we could end on a lighter note, I asked ChatGPT to tell me a musical joke.

The result…well I don’t know…perhaps it’s aimed at higher intellects? Maybe it’s rude and I’m too innocent to understand? Anyway, I suppose it’s kind of nice to think of AI chuckling away at this:

Why did the pianist break up with his girlfriend?

She kept telling him to c-sharp…

Get it? No, me neither.

Here’s another ChatGPT special:

Why did the clarinetist bring a pencil to his gig?

To take note changes!

That nearly works.

Rather than go out on a damp squib, I think I’ll end with a joke from the human world:

What is a diva’s favourite scale?

Do, re, mi, mi, mi

Now there’s a proper joke.

I also can’t resist this one I learnt recently (with apologies to drummers):

A drummer goes into a music shop and asks to try out the red trumpet hanging on the wall and the accordian behind the counter. After a second the shop keeper replies, “OK you can have the fire extinguisher, but the radiator stays.”




Emma Johnson February 2023




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