Infoscience

Thesis

Probabilistic models for music

This thesis proposes to analyse symbolic musical data under a statistical viewpoint, using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques. Our main argument is to show that it is possible to design generative models that are able to predict and to generate music given arbitrary contexts in a genre similar to a training corpus, using a minimal amount of data. For instance, a carefully designed generative model could guess what would be a good accompaniment for a given melody. Conversely, we propose generative models in this thesis that can be sampled to generate realistic melodies given harmonic context. Most computer music research has been devoted so far to the direct modeling of audio data. However, most of the music models today do not consider the musical structure at all. We argue that reliable symbolic music models such a the ones presented in this thesis could dramatically improve the performance of audio algorithms applied in more general contexts. Hence, our main contributions in this thesis are three-fold: We have shown empirically that long term dependencies are present in music data and we provide quantitative measures of such dependencies; We have shown empirically that using domain knowledge allows to capture long term dependencies in music signal better than with standard statistical models for temporal data. We describe many probabilistic models aimed to capture various aspects of symbolic polyphonic music. Such models can be used for music prediction. Moreover, these models can be sampled to generate realistic music sequences; We designed various representations for music that could be used as observations by the proposed probabilistic models.

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