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Title: Musicians and machines : bridging the semantic gap in live performance
Author: Stark, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 4625
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the automatic extraction of musical information from live performances - with the intention of using that information to create novel, responsive and adaptive performance tools for musicians. We focus specifically on two forms of musical analysis - harmonic analysis and beat tracking. We present two harmonic analysis algorithms - specifically we present a novel chroma vector analysis technique which we later use as the input for a chord recognition algorithm. We also present a real-time beat tracker, based upon an extension of state of the art non-causal models, that is computationally efficient and capable of strong performance compared to other models. Furthermore, through a modular study of several beat tracking algorithms we attempt to establish methods to improve beat tracking and apply these lessons to our model. Building upon this work, we show that these analyses can be combined to create a beat-synchronous musical representation, with harmonic information segmented at the level of the beat. We present a number of ways of calculating these representations and discuss their relative merits. We proceed by introducing a technique, which we call Performance Following, for recognising repeated patterns in live musical performances. Through examining the real-time beat-synchronous musical representation, this technique makes predictions of future harmonic content in musical performances with no prior knowledge in the form of a score. Finally, we present a number of potential applications for live performances that incorporate the real-time musical analysis techniques outlined previously. The applications presented include audio effects informed by beat tracking, a technique for synchronising video to a live performance, the use of harmonic information to control visual displays and an automatic accompaniment system based upon our performance following technique.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: harmonic analysis ; beat tracking ; musical representation