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Artificial intelligence became Beethoven: how do listeners and music professionals perceive artificially composed music?

Francisco Tigre Moura (Department of Marketing, IUBH University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany)
Charlotte Maw (IUBH University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 28 January 2021

Issue publication date: 1 March 2021




Artificial intelligence (AI) has reached creative industries such as music. Algorithms now produce high-quality artistic content (e.g. original songs), for hedo consumption and utilitarian business applications. While available literature to-date focuses mainly on technological development and applications, this paper aims to address the resulting research gap by investigating listeners’ perceptions towards music composed by AI.


First, an online survey was conducted with 446 respondents and compared perceptions of music professionals (n = 72) and non-professional listeners (n = 374). Following this, a 2 × 2 laboratory experiment was conducted, where 86 participants listened to songs composed by AI but were presented different narratives regarding the composition process (human versus AI).


Overall, results from the online survey indicated a rather negative perception, low purchase intention for AI music and a negative credibility perception of musicians using AI. Findings from the experiment indicated no significant differences between the groups, suggesting that the awareness of the use of automation did not influence the perception towards the music.


This paper contributes by highlighting the current perception of both listeners and music professionals towards the application of artificial creativity in music composition. Furthermore, it contributes to the existing literature on artificial creativity applied in music, by providing evidence of its impact on listeners’ perception. Results reveal the importance of further investigation on the topic.



Tigre Moura, F. and Maw, C. (2021), "Artificial intelligence became Beethoven: how do listeners and music professionals perceive artificially composed music?", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 137-146.



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