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MIT staff blogger Quinton McArthur

Operabots with Personality by Quinton McArthur to my ears

The fact of the matter is that MIT is just plain cool. This is not an opinion, this is a fact. Just as the sun rotates around the earth……errrr uhhhhh……you know what I’m trying to say. MIT is cool.

One of the things that I did not know about MIT before I began working here is that the students here absolutely LOVE music. While 75% of students participated in the fine & performing arts in high school, over 60% of accepted freshmen last year participated in music related activities before they enrolled at MIT. So for all of you who are looking to merge your talents in the arts with your passion for all things techie, look no further, you will be able to find a home here at MIT.

Recently, Professor of Music and Media Tod Machover has been getting quite a bit of exposure for his research in music and his involvement with Hyperscore which is a piece of software that will allow anyone to compose music.

Tod is a faculty member at the MIT Media Lab which is where the video game Rock Band was developed. The Media Lab is essentially an interdisciplinary research center where faculty and students from MIT work on cool projects. And yes, for all of you gamers out there, Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Rock Band, Rock Band 2, Rock Band Unplugged, & The Beatles: Rock Band all have been developed at Harmonix , a company founded by MIT alum who worked in the Media Lab.

Check out his talk at TED…..

Tod talks about the “Operabots with Personality” between the 8-9 minute mark.



If you are still craving more, check out the 80-minute version at FORA, right here….




And if you are interested in the new The Beatles: Rock Band , you know where to find it……..Yes, click the link.

9 responses to “Operabots with Personality”

  1. David says:

    I’m the first? Sad.

  2. Wang Wei says:

    wow I didn’t know about the Media Lab existence and ties to MIT until now.

    sounds great! I’ll check it out


  3. BD Outsider says:

    I knew the Media Lab did a lot of cutting edge research work. I loved the ‘sixth sense’ augmented reality package a professor showed off some time back, but I had no idea it made Rock Band. Cool!

  4. Nicholas says:

    And I thought I wanted to go to the media lab before!!!!!

  5. Mikey says:

    Thanks for posting this, Q – what an awesome presentation! I actually have a couple friends who are working with Prof. Machover; I think on the opera opening in Monaco, in particular.

    Back when I was an undergrad, I got to go to the Toy Symphony premiere at MIT and play with Hyperscore as part of a music review I did for one of my music classes.

    The work of Tod’s lab and a lot of other Media Lab work is really, truly amazing!

  6. FuLanKe says:

    @Wang Wei
    What is your English name? Cuz I know a person named “Wang Wei” from my school XD
    BTW neither did I know about the ties between MediaLab and MIT until now.

  7. RNB says:

    Firstly, Tod’s hair is awe.some. Secondly, the fact that MediaLab and MIT are connected is SO GEEKING COOL. I’m already saving up for The Beatles: Rock Band. YES. Lastly, I’m gonna see what my composer-friends say about Hyperscore. Real musicians are the REAL test. The fact that this software let’s “anyone” compose may completely insult them, those crazy-learned professionals who take their passion/love/skill quite seriously. Don’t mess with the art that people pay thousands of dollars in loans paying back. That’s all I’m saying.

  8. Lauren says:

    I thought I loved MIT before… I didn’t know so many people there loved music! It would be so cool to work in the MediaLab smile

  9. Jie says:

    music is very mathematical! I realized how much counting and caculating I have to do while playing an instrument…