Professor Eduardo Miranda

Computers are omnipresent in almost every aspect of music today.

Quantum computing – computer technology that are based on quantum theory principles allowing computers to operate at atomic or subatomic levels – is advancing rapidly but to date, musicians are not engaging with this technology. Quantum computing is reserved for specialist laboratories.

This project will develop Qutune, a bespoke Quantum Computing programming toolbox for musician that bridges this gap and allows early adopters to use quantum computing in their music.

Led by Eduardo Miranda, Professor in Computer Music and head of the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR), he is pioneering this approach worldwide.

Pioneering technology

The UK’s music sector contributed over £5 billion to the UK economy in 2019 and employs over 190,000 people. The UK’s lead in technology is key to this economy and the nation has an ambition to build a competitive quantum industry allowing a competitive workforce and to forge new growth markets.

Technology is crucial for music now and Professor Miranda predicts quantum computers will greatly impact the music industry in the future, allowing greater creativity and algorithm speed-up. It could even create music that you could not create classically.

A new level of creativity

QuTune will allow musicians, who routinely use computing, to use new methods to create and programme music, such as DJs.

Additionally, it will develop methods to ‘listen’ to quantum information and algorithms as an educational tool. For example, music could be used to understand variations of an algorithm by listening to their behaviour.

Algorithm speed-up

Algorithms are routinely used in music (e.g. n-SAT, FFT, Markov chains) but these are now being superseded by quantum algorithms, which speed-up this process.

This will empower sophisticated, real-time interaction for musical composition and improvisation.

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