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OFAI-TR-2002-39 ( 616kB g-zipped PostScript file,  527kB PDF file)

Analysis of Musical Content in Digital Audio

Simon Dixon

Automatic analysis of digital audio with musical content is an intensely difficult task which is important for various applications in computer music, audio compression and music information retrieval. This paper contains a brief review of audio analysis as it relates to music, followed by three case studies of recently developed systems which analyse specific aspects of music. The first system is BeatRoot, a beat tracking system that finds the temporal location of musical beats in an audio recording, analogous to the way that people tap their feet in time to music. The second system is JTranscriber, an interactive automatic transcription system, which recognises musical notes and converts them into MIDI format, displaying the audio data as a spectrogram with the MIDI data overlaid in piano roll notation, and allowing interactive monitoring and correction of the extracted MIDI data. The third system is the Performance Worm, a real time system for visualisation of musical expression, which presents in real time a two dimensional animation of variations in tempo and loudness.

Keywords: Content analysis, Musical expression, Beat tracking, Automatic transcription, Performance Worm

Citation: Draft version of a paper appearing in "Computer Graphics and Multimedia: Applications, Problems, and Solutions" (ed. J. DiMarco), Idea Group, 2004, pp 214-235.