The "melody project" is a programming project that Sean Patrick Hannifin began in August 2008. The program takes in pre-existing melodies as input and generates a new melody based on patterns it finds in those melodies and randomness. It was originally meant only to analyze and find patterns in melodies, but Hannifin realized the method he was using to analyze the melodies could easily be reconstructed to also generate melodies.
Hannifin is continuing to work on the project, and hopes to eventually create a website that would allow anyone to experiment with the program.
Currently the program only works with 8-bar melodies in 4/4 time, though the algorithms used could work with any sized melodies in any time as long as they are the same for all the inputs. Hannifin is working on expanding the algorithms so that they could mix melodies of any size and time signature.
The melody project is partly inspired by Monte Carlo computational methods and the music programming work of David Cope, though Hannifin believes that his own particular set of algorithms are entirely original.
By February 2011, Hannifin announced on his blog that, after continued work on the program, the melody project was finally "capable of outputting some pretty nice stuff."
Development is continuing.