A Cross-Version Approach for Harmonic Analysis of Music Recordings

Authors Verena Konz, Meinard Müller

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Verena Konz
Meinard Müller

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Verena Konz and Meinard Müller. A Cross-Version Approach for Harmonic Analysis of Music Recordings. In Multimodal Music Processing. Dagstuhl Follow-Ups, Volume 3, pp. 53-72, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2012)


The automated extraction of chord labels from audio recordings is a central task in music information retrieval. Here, the chord labeling is typically performed on a specific audio version of a piece of music, produced under certain recording conditions, played on specific instruments and characterized by individual styles of the musicians. As a consequence, the obtained chord labeling results are strongly influenced by version-dependent characteristics. In this chapter, we show that analyzing the harmonic properties of several audio versions synchronously stabilizes the chord labeling result in the sense that inconsistencies indicate version-dependent characteristics, whereas consistencies across several versions indicate harmonically stable passages in the piece of music. In particular, we show that consistently labeled passages often correspond to correctly labeled passages. Our experiments show that the cross-version labeling procedure significantly increases the precision of the result while keeping the recall at a relatively high level. Furthermore, we introduce a powerful visualization which reveals the harmonically stable passages on a musical time axis specified in bars. Finally, we demonstrate how this visualization facilitates a better understanding of classification errors and may be used by music experts as a helpful tool for exploring harmonic structures.
  • Harmonic analysis
  • chord labeling
  • audio
  • music
  • music synchronization
  • audio alignment


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