Christmas Songs Created By Artificial Intelligence – Worse Than Coal In Your Stocking?

AI Christmas Tunes is a collection of Christmas music generated using neural networks and deep learning.

Here’s what the developers have to say about it:

Our dataset consisted of about a hundred Christmas tunes and was collected in MIDI format. A MIDI-file is a text file containing the notes and length and loudness of each note. Because of this, the MIDI format is suitable for doing machine learning tasks. For converting we used Music21, an open source library to read and write playable MIDI files.

The first step was to analyze the dataset by going through the existing tunes and storing the notes, chords and the sequences that were used in each tune.

We used a prebuilt LSTM (Long-short Term Memory) functions in Keras. The training consists of modeling a LSTM network that would “learn” these sequences of notes and chords, with the goal of being able to generate its own sequences when fully learned.

For this case we spun up a GPU spot instance with a NVIDIA Tesla V100-SXM2 on AWS. The training took approximately 3 hours with the GPU instance. This was by any means more computation than needed, but we knew we had little time and could run into the need to optimize hyperparameters in the model, which we also did with trying out different batch sizes on the model.

Think that they got their hyperparameters optimized enough to generate something recognizable as Christmas music? You make the call!

24 thoughts on “Christmas Songs Created By Artificial Intelligence – Worse Than Coal In Your Stocking?

    1. Until such time as Ed Sheeran (and TLC) come up with a holiday version of “Shape of You,” the song that shall not be named will undoubtedly continue its reign of terror as the greatest antidote to holiday cheer ever devised.

      1. Welcome. The quality of the harmonization and musical structure of Music Transformer is higher than the distribution of notes over time; there seems to be some time quantization – probably related to the limited resolution of the net – which is clearly audible.

  1. Welcome to the First Annual Synthtopia AI Christmas Song Remix Contest!!


    1. Make your own version/remix of any of the above AI Christmas carols (or other seasonally appropriate AI-composed music of your choice that meets the contest rules)
    2. Upload it to (soundcloud, youtube, bandcamp, web site of your choice) and post a link.
    3. Synthtopia readers (and/or principals, should they show any interest) will be forced to listen to all of them and to pick the best ones, which will probably not be featured on a blog post on this site or possibly in this comments section.
    4. Profit!

    Disclaimers and clarifications:

    – All songs must be both 1) AI-composed 2) appropriate for the winter holiday season of your choice
    – If you can find any other/better AI-composed holiday songs, you are welcome to use them instead
    – This contest is not authorized by Synthtopia™ or its sponsors, none of whom are responsible for its outcome or any effects, including but not limited to any physical, psychological, spiritual, property or other damage that might result from performing or listening to contest entries.

  2. Yikes. Was it not possible to train the AI to create phrases with rests, and then re-use those in some sort of verse-chorus-verse format? These machines just emit strings of random notes without rest.

  3. the last days of humanity seemed counted as the machines prepared to write the worst christmas songs ever … but then, a few heroic survivors remembered to play Last Christmas …

    1. It’s like Christmas kryptonite. When all songs from planet Earth have been long forgotten, one timeless holiday classic will endure, probably until the heat death of the universe.

  4. I kind of like them, when listened to in the background. Though they don’t adhere to the usual scale restrictions, and midi files quantized with no swing, etc, certainly removes a lot of the usual pleasantness.

  5. Jingle Borg, Jingle Borg, assimilate Santa, you will comply. Interesting, although they are a bit on the avant-garde side. It would be interesting to base a piece on these and try to humanize them a notch more. They’re weirdly mechanical, but they still have some serious synth-charm.

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