Learning and Evaluation Methodologies for Polyphonic Music Sequence Prediction with LSTMs
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IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
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Music language models (MLMs) play an important role for various music signal and symbolic music processing tasks, such as music generation, symbolic music classification, or automatic music transcription (AMT). In this paper, we investigate Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks for polyphonic music prediction, in the form of binary piano rolls. A preliminary experiment, assessing the influence of the timestep of piano rolls on system performance, highlights the need for more musical evaluation metrics. We introduce a range of metrics, focusing on temporal and harmonic aspects. We propose to combine them into a parametrisable loss to train our network. We then conduct a range of experiments with this new loss, both for polyphonic music prediction (intrinsic evaluation) and using our predictive model as a language model for AMT (extrinsic evaluation). Intrinsic evaluation shows that tuning the behaviour of a model is possible by adjusting loss parameters, with consistent results across timesteps. Extrinsic evaluation shows consistent behaviour across timesteps in terms of precision and recall with respect to the loss parameters, leading to an improvement in AMT performance without changing the complexity of the model. In particular, we show that intrinsic performance (in terms of cross entropy) is not related to extrinsic performance, highlighting the importance of using custom training losses for each specific application. Our model also compares favourably with previously proposed MLMs.