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On the Potential of Machine Learning for Music Research

Gerhard Widmer

This chapter argues that the branch of AI known as Machine Learning (ML) can make useful contributions to music research, if employed in a thoughtful way. After giving a brief introduction to machine learning and discussing some general methodological questions, the article presents an ongoing project by the author as an example of a substantial and highly non-trivial application of machine learning to a musical problem. The basic music-theoretic assumptions of the project are discussed, the general method is briefly described, and some exemplary results are presented to give the reader an appreciation of the kinds of benefits musicology may draw from such research.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Music Research, Musical Expression, Expressive Performance

Citation: Widmer G.: On the Potential of Machine Learning for Music Research, To appear in: Contemporary Music Review, Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence and Music, 1998