[thechat] Music Information Retrieval for Dance Identification

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Wed May 1 14:28:58 CDT 2013

Sean noted:

>>I find the whole world of music and rhythms terribly fascinating.  


>>Why should we recognize rhythm patterns?  

Not sure.  I suspect it once had survival value of some kind.  Research suggests that we may *all* be born with perfect pitch and lose that ability (if unused) as we develop and mature.  Most of us don't seem to lose rhythm pattern recognition so perhaps that ability had additional value to us in a distant past.

The air ball research was pretty neat.  I'll have to spend more time with songle on a machine with a working sound card in order to appreciate what that is all about.  The Peeters article was pretty interesting.  I didn't check the last reference.

It seems to me that there is still a pretty significant gap to go from tempo recognition to time signature recognition.  (And that's without even considering the technical difficulties in differentiating between related signatures like 3/4 time and 6/8 time.)  Beyond that I'm thinking there is an additional challenge in identifying the accents within a time signature that would be necessary to suggest an appropriate dance.  

On one hand, a "brute force" approach would likely work.  If you think about how a Shazam style service works ... [Caveat: I'm TOTALLY guessing here.  I don't know how it works.  I haven't looked under the hood.  Heck, I haven't even used it!] ... I suspect it works by pattern matching a song snippet against a database.  The brilliance is in tuning the algorithm and speeding up the look-up.  Something similar would work here: identify the song, then return the database field containing the dance suggestion you have pre-assigned to that song.

But that's not a cool or elegant approach.

Good Luck!

(On the other 'other hand' ... I'm pretty durn sure I've seen different couples dancing Waltz, Polka, and Two-Step to the same song on the same dance floor at the same time in the same dance hall in Texas.  Now I ain't saying I know which couple was dancing the "right" dance.  But I am sayin' I would never even try to tell the other two they wuz dancing the "wrong" dance!  No sir! Not me!  I bruise like a grape!)

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