British composer Alexis Kirke uses music to help dementia sufferers remember new information.

A British composer has come up with a program that is aimed to help dementia sufferers to retain information. In fact, he hopes that he can develop the work sufficiently to enable them to learn new things.

Alexis Kirke has considered for some time how musical jingles lodge themselves in our brains, sometimes staying with us for many decades. It occurred to him recently that a practical extension of what, at times, may seem an annoying phenomenon, could be utilised to help Alzheimer sufferers retain new information.

Although much empirical information on how music can aid the brains of Alzheimers sufferers is readily available, Kirke only uncovered two papers that covered the topic of new music relating to such a condition. A member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research, Kirke says that the company is “considering pursing this as a longer term collaborative scientific project” but that “at this stage things are very much artistic rather than scientific.”

Already well known for their use of algorithmic composition, the ICCMR are working with Kirke to produce two simple prototype algorithms – one for text and the other...