Jamming with a Quantum Computer: A musical journey into quantum computing

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Musical improvisation is the creative activity of composing music "in the moment" while performing it, often in a jam session with other musicians. Although composing and performing music is a creative process, the underlying musical style informs the probabilities of note and rhythmic choices that the musician makes. For example, when improvising in the style of twelve-bar blues, the notes played with the highest frequency of occurrence are typically the five that comprise the corresponding minor pentatonic scale.

This idea of musical style being a complex system of probabilities fits perfectly with the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, which is a phenomenon leveraged by quantum computing. To implement this idea, James Weaver created an open source application named Quantum Music Composer that makes use of a quantum computer to improvise music in a very simplified version of 17th century counterpoint.

In this session, James will give an introduction to quantum computing, cover a bit of music theory, and demonstrate how a quantum computer can compose music and participate in a musical jam session. He will then discuss the development and implementation of the Quantum Music Composer application on IBM, and Rigetti, quantum computers.

Info for committee
This session is a brief but gentle introduction by James Weaver to quantum computing for developers and other IT professionals. The presentation consists of demonstrations, code samples, and slides. Because we’ll be accessing real quantum computers in the cloud and playing the music that they improvise, technical requirements include a reliable internet connection, connection to the room's sound system, and a hands-free microphone.

Speaker bio
James Weaver is a developer, author, and speaker with a passion for quantum computing. He is a Java Champion, and a JavaOne Rockstar. James has written books including Inside Java, Beginning J2EE, the Pro JavaFX series, and Java with Raspberry Pi. As an IBM Quantum Developer Advocate, James speaks internationally at quantum and classical computing conferences. He tweets as @JavaFXpert, and blogs at http://JavaFXpert.com and http://CulturedEar.com