Computers are often used in performance of popular music, but most often in very restricted ways, such as keyboard synthesizers where musicians are in complete control, or pre-recorded or sequenced music where musicians follow the computer's drums or click track. An interesting and yet little-explored possibility is the computer as highly autonomous performer of popular music, capable of joining a mixed ensemble of computers and humans. Considering the skills and functional requirements of musicians leads to a number of predictions about future human–computer music performance (HCMP) systems for popular music. We describe a general architecture for such systems and describe some early implementations and our experience with them.

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