Let us assume that a hit song or two from a list of, say, 200 artists, is transcribed into a digital format which allowed for melody/harmony and other types of analysis. These analyses would produce a set of statistical trends regarding melody shapes, interval jumps, and other information found from analyzing the aforementioned songs. This information would then be refined and used as the basis for a program that could help a user generate music for commercial use. Using only the suggestions provided by the program, it would be nearly impossible to completely recreate one of the songs used for analysis (unless the user intended to do so).
Where would this process stand legally? From what I've seen, academic research allows for some lee-way in terms of the content that can be studied. However, I haven't found anything that mentions whether or not one could freely use creative data (music you've bought and transcribed into a format which can be analyzed) to produce factual data (statistical trends) that could essentially be packaged into a product and sold. My gut feeling says that it wouldn't fall under fair use (even though technically the process should not detract from the sales of someone's music). Would you need a license for each song?
If this sits in a strange area legally, it makes me wonder how programs like Band in a Box were developed. Then again I suppose they could have paid session musicians to give them solos/melodies that they would then use for analysis in much the same way.
Any answers are appreciated!