[Smt-talk] RN analyzers

Michael Scott Cuthbert cuthbert at MIT.EDU
Sat Feb 25 08:10:26 PST 2012

Dear Christian,


The output of programs to automatically analyze pieces are usually far less
important than the class of questions that having large, searchable
repertories of analyzed pieces opens up.  So for instance one could ask
"Does V43 move to I or I6 more often during the period 1700-1900 and how
does the distribution of resolutions change according to time period,
region, and/or composer?"  If the software is more trustworthy then you can
ask rather finely grained questions; if the software is less accurate then
you can probably still find things like whether the relative frequency of a
common chord differs significantly between one area and another.


One thing that the work of De Clercq and Temperley show for me is that
there's a limit to the accuracy of any system, somewhere around 95% --
beyond that even trained professionals will disagree about the labeling
(even taking into account orthography differences such as I64 vs V64) of
chords; going above 95% most likely means that the system has learned to
mimic one analyst's labels, not that it's getting the "true" label for any
given chord.






From: Christian Goursaud [mailto:christian.goursaud at gmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 17:24
To: Michael Scott Cuthbert
Cc: smt smt-talk
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] RN analyzers


I would be interested to hear what are the proposed goals of the development
of such software, beyond the obvious technical challenges posed to
developers. What would be the ultimate utility of software which could mimic
conventional human translation of music-notational data to roman-numeric
functional analysis?



Christian Goursaud
PhD candidate, Birmingham Conservatoire
+44 (0)7796033585
christian.goursaud at gmail.com

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