Separating Voices in Polyphonic Music: A Contig Mapping Approach
Voice separation is a critical component of music information retrieval, music analysis and automated transcription systems. We present a contig mapping approach to voice separation based on perceptual principles. The algorithm runs in O(n2) time, uses only pitch height and event boundaries, and requires no user-defined parameters. The method segments a piece into contigs according to voice count, then reconnects fragments in adjacent contigs using a shortest distance strategy. The order of connection is by distance from maximal voice contigs, where the voice ordering is known. This contig-mapping algorithm has been implemented in VoSA, a Java-based voice separation analyzer software. The algorithm performed well when applied to J. S. Bach’s Two- and Three-Part Inventions and the forty-eight Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier. We report an overall average fragment consistency of 99.75%, correct fragment connection rate of 94.50% and average voice consistency of 88.98%, metrics which we propose to measure voice separation performance.
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