Posts Tagged party

ISMIR Oral Session – Sociology and Ethnomusicology

Session Title: Sociology & Ethnomusicology

Session Chair: Frans Wiering (Universiteit Utrecht, Netherland)

Exploring Social Music Behavior: An Investigation of Music Selection at Parties

Sally Jo Cunningham and David M. Nichols

Abstract: This paper builds an understanding how music is currently listened to by small (fewer than 10 individuals) to medium-sized (10 to 40 individuals) gatherings of people—how songs are chosen for playing, how the music fits in with other activities of group members, who supplies the music, the hardware/software that supports song selection and presentation. This fine-grained context emerges from a qualitative analysis of a rich set of participant observations and interviews focusing on the selection of songs to play at social gatherings. We suggest features for software to support music playing at parties.


  • What happens at parties, especially informal small and medium sized parties
  • Observations and interviews – 43 party observations
  • Analyzing the data: key events that drive the activity, patterns of behavior, social roles
  • Observations
    • music selection cannot require fine motor movements (because of drinking and holding their drings) (Drinking dislexia)
    • Need for large displays
    • Party collection from different donors, sources, media
    • Pre-party: host collection
    • As party progresses: additional contributions (ipods, thumbdrives, etc)
    • Challenge: bring together into a single browseable searchable collection
    • Roles: Host, guest, guest of honor. Host provides initial collection, party playlist.  High stress ‘guilty pleasures’
    • Guests: may contribute, could insult the host, may modify party playlist if receive the invitation from the host.  Voting jukeboxes may help
    • Guest of Honor had ultimate control
    • insertion into playlist, looking for specific song, type of song.
    • Delete songs from playlist without disrupting the party
    • Setting and maintaining atmosphere
    • softer for starts, move to faster louder, ending with chilling out
    • What next:other situations, long car ride
  • Questions: Spotify turned into the best party

Great study, great presentation.


Music and Geography: Content Description of Musical Audio from Different Parts of the World

Emilia Gómez, Martín Haro and Perfecto Herrera

Abstract: This paper analyses how audio features related to different musical facets can be useful for the comparative analysis and classification of music from diverse parts of the world. The music collection under study gathers around 6,000 pieces, including traditional music from different geographical zones and countries, as well as a varied set of Western musical styles. We achieve promising results when trying to automatically distinguish music from Western and non-Western traditions. A 86.68% of accuracy is obtained using only 23 audio features, which are representative of distinct musical facets (timbre, tonality, rhythm), indicating their complementarity for music description. We also analyze the relative performance of the different facets and the capability of various descriptors to identify certain types of music. We finally present some results on the relationship between geographical location and musical features in terms of extracted descriptors. All the reported outcomes demonstrate that automatic description of audio signals together with data mining techniques provide means to characterize huge music collections from different traditions, complementing ethnomusicological manual analysis and providing a link between music and geography.

ismir2009-proceedings.pdf (page 766 of 775)


You Call That Singing? Ensemble Classification for Multi-Cultural Collections of Music Recordings

Polina Proutskova and Michael Casey

Abstract: The wide range of vocal styles, musical textures and re- cording techniques found in ethnomusicological field recordings leads us to consider the problem of automatic- ally labeling the content to know whether a recording is a song or instrumental work. Furthermore, if it is a song, we are interested in labeling aspects of the vocal texture: e.g. solo, choral, acapella or singing with instruments. We present evidence to suggest that automatic annotation is feasible for recorded collections exhibiting a wide range of recording techniques and representing musical cultures from around the world. Our experiments used the Alan Lomax Cantometrics training tapes data set, to encourage future comparative evaluations. Experiments were con- ducted with a labeled subset consisting of several hun- dred tracks, annotated at the track and frame levels, as acapella singing, singing plus instruments or instruments only. We trained frame-by-frame SVM classifiers using MFCC features on positive and negative exemplars for two tasks: per-frame labeling of singing and acapella singing. In a further experiment, the frame-by-frame classifier outputs were integrated to estimate the predominant content of whole tracks. Our results show that frame-by- frame classifiers achieved 71% frame accuracy and whole track classifier integration achieved 88% accuracy. We conclude with an analysis of classifier errors suggesting avenues for developing more robust features and classifier strategies for large ethnographically diverse collections.

ismir2009-proceedings.pdf (page 769 of 775)



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DJ API’s secret sauce

Last week at the Echo Nest 4 year anniversary party we had two renown DJs keeping the music flowing.  DJ Rupture was the featured act – but opening the night was the Echo Nest’s own DJ API (a.k.a Ben Lacker)  who put together a 30 minute set using the Echo Nest remix.


DJ API at work (Photo by Jason Sundram

DJ API at work (Photo by Jason Sundram

I was really quite astounded at the quality of the tracks Ben put together (and all of them apparently done on the afternoon before the gig).  I asked Ben to explain how he created the tracks. Here’s what he said:

1. ‘One Thing’ – featuring Michael Jackson’s (dj api’s rip)

I found a half-dozen a cappella Michael Jackson songs as well as instrumental and a cappella recordings of Amerie’s “One Thing” on YouTube. To get Michael Jackson to sing “One Thing”, I stitched all his a cappella tracks together into a single track, then ran afromb: for each segment in the a cappella version of “One Thing”, I found the segment in the MJ a cappella medley that was closest in pitch, timbre, and loudness. The result sounded pretty convincing, but was heavy on the “uh”s and breath sounds. Using the pitch-shifting methods in, I shifted an a cappella version of “Ben” to be in the same key as “One Thing”, then ran afromb again. I edited together part of this result and part of the first result, then synced them up with the instrumental version of “One Thing.”

2. One Thing (dj api’s gamelan version)

I used afromb again here, this time resynthesizing the instrumental version of “One Thing” from the segments of a recording of a Balinese Gamelan Orchestra. I synced this with the a cappella version of “One Thing” and added some kick drums for a little extra punch

3. Billie Jean (dj api screwdown)

First I ran summary on an instrumental version of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (another YouTube find) to produce a version consisting only of the “ands” (every second eighth note). I then used modify.shiftRate to slow down an a cappella version of “Billie Jean” until its tempo matched that of the summarized “Single Ladies”. I synced the two, and repeated some of the final sections of “Single Ladies” to follow the form of “Billie Jean

It was a great set and everyone had a good time listening to the morphed tunes. At the next party hopefully we’ll get to see Ben do some live remix performance programming during the set (which of course won’t be a set, it will really be a python list).

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