Microsoft Research has released Songsmith, a new software program that generates musical accompaniment to match whatever a person sings.

Apparently the software application makes it easy for everyone to create original music just by using their voice, "whether they're shower-stall singers who want to make tunes for fun or serious musicians looking for a scratchpad to capture their creative ideas".

There are 30 styles of music to chose from, such as jazz or country, users then just need and sing into the microphone on their Windows-based computer and Songsmith automatically creates music to back up the singer's voice, using signal processing and artificial intelligence techniques.

Songsmith users can share their completed recordings as well as import them into Windows Movie Maker to create music videos.

Microsoft says Songsmith also lets users edit the chords, instruments or arrangement "without having an understanding of chord structure or music theory" - no need for lessons anymore, kids!

A free trial download of Songsmith is available on the Microsoft Research Web site, and a full version can be purchased at the online Microsoft Store, for $29.95 in the U.S. and 29 euros in the EU. More styles and instrument can also be purchased.