Intonation analysis of rāgas in Carnatic music

TitleIntonation analysis of rāgas in Carnatic music
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKoduri, G. K., Ishwar V., Serrà J., & Serra X.
Journal TitleJournal of New Music Research
AbstractIntonation is a fundamental music concept that has a special relevance in Indian art music. It is characteristic of a rāga and key to the musical expression of the artist. Describing intonation is of importance to several music information retrieval tasks such as developing similarity measures based on rāgas and artists. In this paper, we first assess rāga intonation qualitatively by analyzing varṇaṁs, a particular form of Carnatic music compositions. We then approach the task of automatically obtaining a compact representation of the intonation of a recording from its pitch track. We propose two approaches based on the parametrization of pitch-value distributions: performance pitch histograms, and context-based svara distributions obtained by categorizing pitch contours based on the melodic context. We evaluate both approaches on a large Carnatic music collection and discuss their merits and limitations. We finally go through different kinds of contextual information that can be obtained to further improve the two approaches.
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