Cross-Domain Content-Based Retrieval of Audio Music through Transcription

Iman S. H. Suyoto
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne (September, 2008)


Research in the field of music information retrieval (MIR) is concerned with methods to effectively retrieve a piece of music based on a user's query. An important goal in MIR research is the ability to successfully retrieve music stored as recorded audio using note-based queries.

In this work, we consider the searching of musical audio using symbolic queries. We first examined the effectiveness of using a relative pitch approach to represent queries and pieces. Our experimental results revealed that this technique, while effective, is optimal when the whole tune is used as a query. We then suggested an algorithm involving the use of pitch classes in conjunction with the longest common subsequence algorithm between a query and target, also using the whole tune as a query. We also proposed an algorithm that works effectively when only a small part of a tune is used as a query. The algorithm makes use of a sliding window in addition to pitch classes and the longest common subsequence algorithm between a query and target. We examined the algorithm using queries based on the beginning, middle, and ending parts of pieces.

We performed experiments on an audio collection and manually-constructed symbolic queries. Our experimental evaluation revealed that our techniques are highly effective, with most queries used in our experiments being able to retrieve a correct answer in the first rank position.

In addition, we examined the effectiveness of duration-based features for improving retrieval effectiveness over the use of pitch only. We investigated note durations and inter-onset intervals. For this purpose, we used solely symbolic music so that we could focus on the core of the problem. A relative pitch approach alongside a relative duration representation were used in our experiments. Our experimental results showed that durations fail to significantly improve retrieval effectiveness, whereas inter-onset intervals significantly improve retrieval effectiveness.

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