One of the greatest dilemmas in music history is Ludwig van Beethoven's (1770-1827) unfinished work, the “10th Symphony,” with many musicians struggling to finish it, using some of the available fragments, but to no avail.
This time, however, the technology will come into play and an artificial intelligence algorithm will have the tough task of completing it. Deutsche Telekom, one of Germany's largest telecommunications companies, came up with this idea.
Since mid-2019, an international team of musicians, composers and programmers has been training the software to compose the missing pieces, always aiming to maintain the style and spirit of the German musician. For this, they used sketches and annotations from Beethoven and tried to translate this into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) program.
The symphony will be premiered next year by the Beethoven Orchester orchestra in Bonn, where the musician was born. The result, however, is still a mystery and few people know what it will be like, since the unpredictability of the algorithm is what can make the task successful.
"The algorithm is unpredictable, it surprises us every day," Mattias Röder, director of the Karajan Institute and project coordinator of the 10th symphony, told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "It's like a child exploring Beethoven's world," he added.
Huawei has already done something similar this year by investing in a similar process to restore Franz Schubert's famous Symphony No. 8, which was also unfinished. The result was presented in February in London.
Beethoven is considered one of the cornerstones of Western music for the development of both language and musical content demonstrated in his works, remaining one of the most respected and influential composers of all time. By 2020, it would be 250 years old.