Representation and Synthesis of Melodic Expression

A method for expressive melody synthesis is presented seeking to capture the prosodic (stress and directional) element of musical interpretation. An expressive performance is represented as a note-level annotation, classifying each note according to a small alphabet of symbols describing the role of the note within a larger context. An audio performance of the melody is represented in terms of two time-varying functions describing the evolving frequency and intensity. A method is presented that transforms the expressive annotation into the frequency and intensity functions, thus giving the audio performance. The problem of expressive rendering is then cast as estimation of the most likely sequence of hidden variables corresponding to the prosodic annotation. Examples are presented on a dataset of around 50 folk-like melodies, realized both from hand-marked and estimated annotations.

Christopher Raphael