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Structure Analysis of Beijing Opera Arias

Title Structure Analysis of Beijing Opera Arias
Publication Type Master Thesis
Year of Publication 2016
Authors Yang, Y.
Abstract Music has been playing an important role in the society. With the wide spread of digital and mobile devices, the consumption of music has been increasing significantly. Therefore, the demand for automatic processing and analyzing music with computational technologies has also been pushed to a new ground. It has opened up opportunities for a variety of applications which were not possible before. Structure, being a fundamental entity of music, is being used in a lot of those applications to help people organize, navigate, and understand music. It is also of great importance for the academic areas such as Computational Musicology and Music Information Research (MIR). However, such application and research are mostly focused on western music, while there is increasing demand for non-western music as well. Beijing opera, being one of the most famous traditional operas in China, has influence all over the world. But few efforts have been made in the study of Beijing opera music with a computational perspective. In this work, we propose computational tools for the structure analysis of Beijing opera arias. Literature review of state of the art research on related topics are performed. Methodologies, data, and challenges of these topics are analyzed. Then we proceed to the specific tasks chosen for the structure analysis of Beijing opera arias on different levels. The first task is the segmentation of singing, percussion and instrumental sections. Features have been chosen to reflect the nature of the sound in these sections. An Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier is built using these features. Experiments on a 34 aria dataset have shown the effectiveness of this method. The influence of features have also been analyzed. The second task is lyrics-to-audio alignment. For this task, two datasets of a capella singing have been created, with human annotations on the phoneme level. The study of the datasets have been performed and have shown interesting characteristics of the lyrics of Beijing opera singing. An approach based on Duration-aware Hidden Markov Model (DHMM) has been proposed to address the challenge of long syllable durations in Beijing opera arias. The evaluation results demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to tackle the task of lyrics-to-audio alignment in the case of Beijing opera arias. The thesis is concluded with main conclusions and a summary of the contributions of this work.