“We believe music is central to humanity”: Roland and Universal Music Group announce their 7 Principles for Music Creation with AI as they confirm new strategic partnership

Taylor Swift
(Image credit: Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Roland and Universal Music Group, two of the biggest names in music making and “music-based entertainment” respectively, have announced a strategic partnership as they seek “clarity of direction and intention to the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in music creation”.

Clearly, both companies have significant skin in the game, and we’re told that the partnership involves “the exploration of innovation sitting at the cross-section of music and technology.”

Roland is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of piano, synth, guitar, bass and electronic drum products, while Universal Music Group’s roster of artists includes Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, Billy Joel, Olivia Rodrigo and many more.

As a first step, Roland and UMG have laid out their seven Principles for Music Creation with AI, and will advocate for their adoption across the music industry and creative community. These are designed to highlight the opportunities for innovation that AI offers in the areas of music production, composition and songwriting, while underscoring the need for transparency, equity, and community involvement.

The Principles for Music Creation with AI are as follows:

  • We believe music is central to humanity.
  • We believe humanity and music are inseparable.
  • We believe that technology has long supported human artistic expression, and applied sustainably, AI will amplify human creativity.
  • We believe that human-created works must be respected and protected.
  • We believe that transparency is essential to responsible and trustworthy AI.
  • We believe the perspectives of music artists, songwriters, and other creators must be sought after and respected.
  • We are proud to help bring music to life.

If these principles can take root, Roland and UMG believe that they can help to create “an ethical framework for musical creativity to flourish and be protected for generations to come.” The two companies are planning further initiatives, too, including a joint research and development hub, a collaborative research project focused on developing methods for confirming the origin and ownership of music, and - on a more practical level - the integration of Roland products and services in select Universal-owned music production facilities around the world.

Roland and UMG

(Image credit: Roland and UMG)

“As companies who share a mutual history of technology innovation, both Roland and UMG believe that AI can play an important role in the creative process of producing music,” says Masahiro Minowa, Chief Innovation Officer at Roland. “We also have a deep belief that human creativity is irreplaceable, and it is our responsibility to protect artists’ rights. The Principles for Music Creation with AI establishes a framework for our ongoing collaboration to explore opportunities that converge at the intersection of technology and human creativity.”

Michael Nash, Chief Digital Officer, EVP at Universal Music Group adds, “At UMG, we have long recognised and embraced the potential of AI to enhance and amplify human creativity, advance musical innovation, and expand the realms of audio production and sound technology. This can only happen if it is applied ethically and responsibly across the entire industry. We are delighted to collaborate with Roland, to explore new opportunities in this area together, while helping to galvanize consensus among key stakeholders across music’s creative community to promote adoption of these core principles with the goal of ensuring human creativity continues to thrive alongside the evolution of new technology.”

Companies and organisations who are interested in supporting the Principles for Music Creation with AI can do so via a dedicated website, aiformusic.info.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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