Copyright 2021 MIT 6.S191 Introduction to Deep Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed under the MIT License. You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. Use and/or modification of this code outside of 6.S191 must reference:

© MIT 6.S191: Introduction to Deep Learning

Music Generation with RNNs

In this portion of the lab, we will explore building a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) for music generation. We will train a model to learn the patterns in raw sheet music in ABC notation and then use this model to generate new music.

import tensorflow as tf 
import numpy as np
import os
import time
import regex as re
import subprocess
import urllib
import functools
from IPython import display as ipythondisplay
from tqdm import tqdm
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

# Check that we are using a GPU, if not switch runtimes
#   using Runtime > Change Runtime Type > GPU
assert len(tf.config.list_physical_devices('GPU')) > 0


Let's Dance!

We've gathered a dataset of thousands of Irish folk songs, represented in the ABC notation. Let's download the dataset and inspect it:

cwd = os.getcwd()

def extract_song_snippet(text):
    pattern = '(^|\n\n)(.*?)\n\n'
    search_results = re.findall(pattern, text, overlapped=True, flags=re.DOTALL)
    songs = [song[1] for song in search_results]
    print("Found {} songs in text".format(len(songs)))
    return songs

songs = []

with open(os.path.join(cwd, 'dataset', ''), 'r') as f:
    text =
    songs = extract_song_snippet(text)
# Print one of the songs to inspect it in greater detail!
example_song = songs[0]
print("\nExample song: ")
Found 817 songs in text

Example song: 
Z: id:dc-hornpipe-1
K:D Major
(3ABc|dAFA DFAd|fdcd FAdf|gfge fefd|(3efe (3dcB A2 (3ABc|!
dAFA DFAd|fdcd FAdf|gfge fefd|(3efe dc d2:|!
AG|FAdA FAdA|GBdB GBdB|Acec Acec|dfaf gecA|!
FAdA FAdA|GBdB GBdB|Aceg fefd|(3efe dc d2:|!

We can easily convert a song in ABC notation to an audio waveform and play it back. Be patient for this conversion to run, it can take some time.

Note: Actually, original notebook is for google Colab, and it can reproduce it on linux environment. But if you can install timidity and abc2midi on windows, it can be worked on windows. I`ve done this on windows jupyter environment
def save_song_to_abc(song, filename="tmp"):
    save_name = "{}.abc".format(filename)
    with open(save_name, "w") as f:
    return filename

def abc2wav(abc_file):
    suf = abc_file.rstrip('.abc')
    cmd = "abc2midi {} -o {}".format(abc_file, suf + ".mid")
    cmd = "timidity {}.mid -Ow {}.wav".format(suf, suf)
    return os.system(cmd) 

def play_wav(wav_file):
    return ipythondisplay.Audio(wav_file)

def play_song(song):
    basename = save_song_to_abc(song)
    ret = abc2wav(basename + '.abc')
    if ret == 0: #did not suceed
        return play_wav(basename+'.wav')
    return None