Google Celebrates Bach’s Birthday With Its First AI-Powered Doodle

March 21, 2019, 2:48 PM UTC

Ever wanted to be a musician but didn’t think you had any innate talent? In celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday, Google’s first-ever AI-powered Google Doodle will help you achieve your dream.

The Google Doodle shows Bach playing an organ, and lets users compose a melody of their own. All you have to do is select a few notes and then the Doodle will automatically “harmonize the custom melody into Bach’s signature music style.” Or, if you’re lucky enough to find the easter egg in the Doodle, you may end up with an ‘80s rock style hybrid.

To develop the Google Doodle, teams at Google fed a computer 306 of Bach’s chorale harmonizations. They were chosen for their consistency—they all have four voices and carry their own melodic line. Once the model learned Bach’s style from the various pieces, another team made it so that the machine learning could take place from someone’s web browser to allow users to take advantage of it from their own homes, offices, or phones.

Bach, who was born into a musical family in 1685, went on to write more than 1,000 pieces of music and became a noted harpsichordist and organist. Of his 20 children, many became composers themselves.