Automatic recognition of Persian musical modes in audio musical signals

Heydarian, Peyman (2016) Automatic recognition of Persian musical modes in audio musical signals. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This research proposes new approaches for computational identification of Persian musical modes. This involves constructing a database of audio musical files and developing computer algorithms to perform a musical analysis of the samples. Essential features, the spectral average, chroma, and pitch histograms, and the use of symbolic data, are discussed and compared. A tonic detection algorithm is developed to align the feature vectors and to make the mode recognition methods independent of changes in tonality. Subsequently, a geometric distance measure, such as the Manhattan distance, which is preferred, and cross correlation, or a machine learning method (the Gaussian Mixture Models), is used to gauge similarity between a signal and a set of templates that are constructed in the training phase, in which data-driven patterns are made for each dastgàh (Persian mode). The effects of the following parameters are considered and assessed: the amount of training data; the parts of the frequency range to be used for training; down sampling; tone resolution (12-TET, 24-TET, 48-TET and 53-TET); the effect of using overlapping or nonoverlapping frames; and silence and high-energy suppression in pre-processing. The santur (hammered string instrument), which is extensively used in the musical database samples, is described and its physical properties are characterised; the pitch and harmonic deviations characteristic of it are measured; and the inharmonicity factor of the instrument is calculated for the first time.

The results are applicable to Persian music and to other closely related musical traditions of the Mediterranean and the Near East. This approach enables content-based analyses of, and content-based searches of, musical archives. Potential applications of this research include: music information retrieval, audio snippet (thumbnailing), music archiving and access to archival content, audio compression and coding, associating of images with audio content, music transcription, music synthesis, music editors, music instruction, automatic music accompaniment, and setting new standards and symbols for musical notation.

HeydarianPeyman - PhD Full Thesis.pdf - Published Version

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