What if you could listen to the emotions of your favourite characters in a novel in the form of a soothing music?
This is now possible with a new software named TransProse that creates musical soundtracks from books.
“Given a novel in an electronically readable form, our system - called TransProse - generates simple piano pieces the notes of which are dependent on the emotion of words in the text,” said Saif Mohammad, a computer scientist at the National Research Council, Canada.
This could open new ways to visualise information, such as audiovisual e-books that generate music according to the emotions on the page or novel music apps.
Together with Hannah Davis from New York University, Mohammad used the software to count the density of words associated with eight basic emotions: anticipation, anger, joy, fear, disgust, sadness, surprise and trust.
TransProse is the first software that automatically generates musical pieces based on the emotions in the text, and uses a novel mechanism to determine sequences of notes that capture the emotional activity in text, researchers noted.
The algorithm uses databases to rate words according to their emotional value, thereby analysing sentiment in the text and gauging its ‘emotional temperature’.
This work shows that it is possible to automatically translate aspects of literature to music.
“We hope that it will lead to more sophisticated systems that automatically generate beautiful and emotionally representative music from text,” researchers said in a paper on the prepublish site Arxiv.