Ambiguity in Automatic Chord Transcription: Recognizing Major and Minor Chords

  • Antti LaaksonenEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8382)


Automatic chord transcription is the process of transforming the harmonic content of a music signal into chord symbols. We use difficult chord transcription cases in the Beatles material to compare human performance to computer performance. Surprisingly, in many cases musically oriented participants are unable to determine whether the chord is major or minor. We further analyze ambiguous chords and find out that there are often no clear rules for chord interpretation. This suggests that the standard evaluation method in automatic chord transcription based on a single ground truth is inadequate.


Automatic chord transcription Signal processing Musical context Major and minor chords Listening experiment 



This work has been supported by the Helsinki Doctoral Programme in Computer Science and the Academy of Finland (grant number 118653).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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