When: June 19, 2013 @ 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Where: Room 2.33, Informatics Forum, Crichton Street, University of Edinburgh
Parsing Jazz: Harmonic Analysis of Music Using Combinatory Categorial Grammar
Dr Mark Granroth-Wilding (ILCC, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh)
In Western tonal music, an important part of a listener’s understanding of a piece of music is an unconcious analysis of the harmonic progression underlying it. Harmonic progressions in tonal music have been described as having a hierarchical structure, similar to that found in the syntax and semantics of natural language. This work demonstrates the use of grammar-based parsing, with related machine-learning techniques, as used in Natural Language Processing, for automatic analysis of the structure of jazz chord sequences, according to a theory in the tradition of functional harmonic analysis.
This talk will examine the theory of harmonic structure underlying the work and introduce a grammar formalism suitable for processing the syntax of tonal harmony. It will then address the practical problem of of automatic harmonic analysis by adapting some statistical parsing techniques from natural language processing. The results of parsing experiments indicate that the constraints of a grammar help in recovering harmonic analyses, when compared with a Markovian approach.