State of the Art Report: Audio-Based Music Structure Analysis

State of the Art Report: Audio-Based Music Structure Analysis
Jouni Paulus, Meinard Müller and Anssi Klapuri

ABSTRACT – Humans tend to organize perceived information into hierarchies and structures, a principle that also applies to music. Even musically untrained listeners unconsciously analyze and segment music with regard to various musical aspects, for example, identifying recurrent themes or detecting temporal boundaries between contrasting musical parts. This paper gives an overview of state-of-the- art methods for computational music structure analysis, where the general goal is to divide an audio recording into temporal segments corresponding to musical parts and to group these segments into musically meaningful categories. There are many different criteria for segmenting and structuring music audio. In particular, one can identify three conceptually different approaches, which we refer to as repetition-based, novelty-based, and homogeneity- based approaches. Furthermore, one has to account for different musical dimensions such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. In our state-of-the-art report, we address these different issues in the context of music structure analysis, while discussing and categorizing the most relevant and recent articles in this field.

This presentation is an overview of the music structure analysis problem, and the methods proposed for solving it. The methods have been divided into three categories: novelty-based approaches, homogeneity-based approaches, and repetition-based approaches. The comparison of different methods has been problematic because of the differring goals,  but current evaluations suggest that none of the approaches is clearly superior at this time, and that there is still room for considerable improvements.

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