Computational Methods for the Alignment and Score-Informed Transcription of Piano Music
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This thesis is concerned with computational methods for alignment and score-informed transcription of piano music. Firstly, several methods are proposed to improve the alignment robustness and accuracywhen various versions of one piece of music showcomplex differences with respect to acoustic conditions or musical interpretation. Secondly, score to performance alignment is applied to enable score-informed transcription. Although music alignment methods have considerably improved in accuracy in recent years, the task remains challenging. The research in this thesis aims to improve the robustness for some cases where there are substantial differences between versions and state-of-the-art methods may fail in identifying a correct alignment. This thesis first exploits the availability of multiple versions of the piece to be aligned. By processing these jointly, the alignment process can be stabilised by exploiting additional examples of how a section might be interpreted or which acoustic conditions may arise. Two methods are proposed, progressive alignment and profile HMM, both adapted from the multiple biological sequence alignment task. Experiments demonstrate that these methods can indeed improve the alignment accuracy and robustness over comparable pairwise methods. Secondly, this thesis presents a score to performance alignment method that can improve the robustness in cases where some musical voices, such as the melody, are played asynchronously to others – a stylistic device used in musical expression. The asynchronies between the melody and the accompaniment are handled by treating the voices as separate timelines in a multi-dimensional variant of dynamic time warping (DTW). The method measurably improves the alignment accuracy for pieces with asynchronous voices and preserves the accuracy otherwise. Once an accurate alignment between a score and an audio recording is available, the score information can be exploited as prior knowledge in automatic music transcription (AMT), for scenarios where score is available, such as music tutoring. Score-informed dictionary learning is used to learn the spectral pattern of each pitch that describes the energy distribution of the associated notes in the recording. More precisely, the dictionary learning process in non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) is constrained using the aligned score. This way, by adapting the dictionary to a given recording, the proposed method improves the accuracy over the state-of-the-art.
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