On Friday, 21st March 2019, Google celebrated legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday with its first-ever Artificial Intelligence-powered Google doodle.
The animation on top of the search engine’s website shows the 18th-century composer playing the organ. This doodle was done in commemoration of his birthday in 1685.
The Google doodle shows Bach playing the organ, and lets users compose a melody of their own. You get to select a few notes. Then the doodle will “harmonise the custom melody into Bach’s signature music style.”
Google also said some users will be able to do an 80s rock song composition if they manage to find a “very special Easter egg in the doodle.”
The team at Google fed a computer with 306 of Bach’s harmonisations to help develop the doodle. All four doodles have their own voices and carry their own melodic line.
The Google doodle interacts with users. It also encourages them to compose their own two-measure melody.
It helps machine learning to take place from web browsers. This will allow users to take advantage of it from their own homes, offices or phones. The model also learns Bach’s style from the various pieces.
Bach was born into a German musical family. He is one of the earliest and most popular composers in our music books. He wrote more than 1,000 pieces of music and became a noted harpsichordist and organist. Bach has 20 children, most of whom became composers themselves.
He was very popular in the 19th century when his music gained world appreciation for his innovative use of the four-part harmony.