Das Instrument, das von selbst spielt / Banū Mūsā ibn Shākir, Liang Zhipeng (CN), ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (DE), Photo: vog.photo


AI x Music is an exhibition about the encounter between Artificial Intelligence and music, as well as human creativity and technical perfection.

Music might be the most emotional of all art forms, but it is also deeply connected to mathematics, to the physics of sound production, and to the craftmanship of instrument makers. This means that from the very beginning, the history of music is also the history of the instruments, tools, and devices needed to perform it, record it, and reproduce it.

From the first string and wind instruments of ancient times to the digital synthesizers of today, from the wax rollers and soot-covered glass plates of the first precursors of the gramophone to the digital streaming services of the Internet, composers and musicians have always been pioneers of the technological possibilities of their time. Now Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence offer a multitude of possibilities for creative composition. Artists all over the world are already experimenting with them.

The exhibition takes a look at the cultural and technological history of mechanical music players, bridges the gap between them and the new developments in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, and shows that far from being mere technological phenomena, they raise fundamental questions about the relationship between human and machine.


  • Alien Harmonies

    Alien Harmonies

    Jakob Luckeneder (AT)

    Embark on a journey of discovery, as multiple participants engage with this extraordinary alien device.

  • Barrel Piano

    Barrel Piano

    Spring mechanism, coin slot, ten melodies, Poupart, Ciocca, Mancier; Reims, France, 1900

    At the appropriate time, one of the 20,000 or 30,000 nails or pins attached to a wooden cylinder actuates a hammer, which then strikes a piano string to produce the desired sound.

  • Being


    Rashaad Newsome (US)

    The social humanoid artificial intelligence Being acts in various roles. It leads workshops, has already acted as a tour guide in an exhibition, and continuously composes and recites poems accompanied by an ASMR soundscape.

  • Flute Organ

    Flute Organ

    um 1795 Fa. Clavis; Wien

    One of the exhibits of the Sound Factory Haslach is this flute organ, a mechanical musical instrument that plays automatically by means of a pinned roller.

  • Making Techno with Music Robots

    Making Techno with Music Robots

    Moritz Simon Geist (DE)

    Making Techno with Music Robots is a sound installation in which robots play unusual homemade musical instruments.

  • Modular Synthesizer

    Modular Synthesizer

    A simple subtractive synthesizer consists of a VCO, a VCF, an envelope (ADSR), a mixer and an amplifier.

  • MusicLM: Generating Music From Text

    MusicLM: Generating Music From Text

    Google LLC (US)

    MusicLM is an advanced machine learning model that can generate high-quality music and sounds based on text descriptions.

  • Open Sound Studio

    Open Sound Studio

    Try out digital music production tools for yourself and gain experience in new worlds of sound. The Open Sound Studio is the best place to do this.

  • Piano Room

    Piano Room

    Ars Electronica Futurelab, Cori O’Lan

    The Piano Room in the “AI x Music” exhibition serves as an experimental space for the latest developments in music and technology. Its centerpiece is the Yamaha DC1 self-playing grand piano and a visualization that displays the frequencies and volume of the music in real time.

  • Ricercar: An AI-based Musical Companion

    Ricercar: An AI-based Musical Companion

    Ali Nikrang (AT)

    Ricercar is an interactive AI-based music composition system that creates an intuitive interface between humans and an AI-based composition system to discover the potential of a musical idea in a collaborative way.

  • Solar Synthesizer 0.4

    Solar Synthesizer 0.4

    Klaus Dieterstorfer (AT), Alex Minichmair (AT), Rupert Huber (AT), Felix Minichmair (AT)

    With the Solar Synthesizer 0.4 the first attempt to produce sounds with solar energy was started.

  • The Instrument That Plays by Itself – New Interpretation

    The Instrument That Plays by Itself – New Interpretation

    Banū Mūsā ibn Shākir, Liang Zhipeng (CN), Daniel Murina (AT)

    The Banū Mūsā ibn Shākirs’ manuscript al-Āla allatī tuzammir bi-nafsihā from the mid-ninth century describes a universal flute player who, on closer inspection, turns out to be a programmable universal musical instrument. A modern reinterpretation of this self-playing instrument was developed in 2023 by museum technician Daniel Murina.

  • Timeline


    In the AI x Music exhibition, the Ars Electronica Center not only presents the very latest ideas, developments and inventions in the context of technology and music, it also deals with the past.