21 March 2019
By Ellie Palmer
Johann Sebastian Bach was born 334 years ago today - and Google is celebrating in style.
The artificial intelligence-powered Google Doodle enables users to compose their own music in the style of Bach himself. The creation centres around Bach's love of four-part harmony. Once a user has composed a melody, Google then generates the three remaining parts to create a much deeper, more complex harmony.
Four-part harmony was a staple of Bach compositions, although the use of it actually pre-dates his work.
The Baroque composer, born in 1685, was one of the most influential composers of his time, and many of his pieces that utilise four-part harmony are so brilliantly interwoven that it seems to be a huge task trying to separate them from each other. Bach was not looking to harmonise a melody with pleasant sounds. His aim was to express the richness of his thoughts through the music he produced. He certainly did just that.
Creating the Bach-themed Google Doodle was by no means an easy task. In order for Google to create the rest of the four-part harmony, the tech giant had to analyse 306 Bach compositions in order to teach the Bach machine how to recognise patterns and create harmonies from the user's melody.
Learn more about how the Bach Google Doodle came to life