Proceedings of the 19th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference. 2018
Melodic contour, the ‘shape’ of a melody, is a common way to visualize and remember a musical piece. The purpose of this paper is to explore the building blocks of a future ‘gesture-based’ melody retrieval system. We present a dataset containing 16 melodic phrases from four musical styles and with a large range of contour variability. This is accompanied by full-body motion capture data of 26 participants performing sound-tracing to the melodies. The dataset is analyzed using canonical correlation analysis (CCA), and its neural network variant (Deep CCA), to understand how melodic contours and sound tracings relate to each other. The analyses reveal non-linear relationships between sound and motion. The link between pitch and verticality does not appear strong enough for complex melodies. We also find that descending melodic contours have the least correlation with tracing.
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